Adventist Idol


(Frankmer7) #122

I’ve read them. I’ve been far more blessed by reading and meditating on the bible, especially the NT, without the baggage that comes with an extra biblical source.

Yes, there is much that is good in the writings that are attributed to EGW. But, there is enough, especially for sensitive souls, that is also crazy making, that states things that aren’t found in the scriptures, that can cause a morbidly introspective type of spiritual experience, and that colors the views of so many Adventists as the last word on the scriptures and the gospel.

If you’ve had a good experience with her writings, that’s great. Many others haven’t. And, with so much evidence that points to plagiarism and the derivative nature of her output, some of us have concluded that it’s far more profitable and healthy to focus on the bible and the gospel, rather than 100,000 pages of an extra biblical source that is questionable in so many ways.

Her writings are not a test of fellowship, nor the litmus test for Christian belief, experience, and practice.

Thanks…

Frank


#123

Thanks for your reply Anne. You make a good point. I concede that you shouldn’t have to leave the church if you don’t agree with 100% of its teachings. I’m unaware of the material from the 1919 Bible Conference and I will look into it. But in my opinion, if someone wants to have doubts about Ellen White or doubts about the bible they will always be able to find reasons to doubt. In my experience, when I have come across an argument against her writings, all my doubts have been cleared up by thoroughly reading the rebuttals from the EGW Estate etc. Thanks for your response you have definitely made me think. God bless.


#124

I assume you have done years of studying to come to your conclusions. I don’t want to insult you or seem like I’m implying you haven’t done your research. However, I had concerns about Ellen White and plagiarism for a while but after I did some study on the issue I came to a different opinion. If you don’t mind me asking, why is it that you reject the arguments in defense of Ellen White? For example, Ellen G. 'White and the So-Called “Plagiarism” Charge: An Examination of Five Issues
by Roger’W. Coon https://www.andrews.edu/~jmoon/Documents/GSEM_534/Class_outline/05b.pdf
seems to clear things up in my opinion. I will admit that I still have a lot more study to do on the topic. God bless you George.


(Steve ) #125

The halls of Adventist and holy Hollywood is stacked with stars. Some change into black holes but the bright ones earn the corporate Oscars and are idolized in the Adventist TV Times of the denominational press. All
is vanity…


(George Tichy) #126

One thing all those “justifications and explanations” cannot do is to undo the fact that an author of several books copied from other books and never gave proper credit to those authors. This is “plagiarism,” not inspiration. And worse, the Church and the White family keep defending the practice as OK. Actually they have been covering it up for tens of years, until the bomb finally exploded in the 1970-80s and they lost control.

Maybe it’s OK for them, and for many Church members. But it’s not OK for many other Church members, one of them being me. Do we, the anti-plagiarism crowd, have the right to take the facts as they are, or do we really need to be criticized for not accepting the practice?

Is accepting the practice of plagiarism a sine-qua-non condition for a Church member to not be called an “infidel” by those who consider themselves to be “fidels” just because they normalize plagiarism?

And all this happening in a Church, a religious environment, while not even the so-called “The World” accepts this fraudulent practice!

No, nobody has to agree with that practice, though there is freedom for those who want to.


(Johnny Carson) #127

Good point.

Too bad Ellen didn’t do this. Rather, she copied in many cases (borrowed, according to you), the copyrighted works of others without footnotes or permission, and in doing so paid her staff and earned her living. That, my friend, is called theft. It is inexcusable, and diminishes to the greatest extent the good work she did.


(Johnny Carson) #128

I try to be ethical and as a result can’t bring myself to justify the deliberate coverup engaged in by denominational leaders who’ve now virtually gone silent on the subject, leaving membership to twist in the wind, attempting to justify it for them.


(George Tichy) #129

“Stay still and silent, and it al will soon be forgotten.”
“Don’t poke it, and it will not stink.”

My parents’ home was across the highway from the big property of the SDA main educational institution in São Paulo (Brazil). The buildings were far away, what we had in front of us was great pasture and cattle. As a kid I used to go there and walk around those beautiful cows. Once in a while, inadvertently, I would step on those round pieces of manure. There was no smell if they had been there for a few hours, since the outside would already be dry. But, if one poked them… hmmm, that was not that pleasant of a smell. That’s when I learned, “Don’t poke the ‘stuff’ and it will not stink.”

It seems that the black suited guys upstairs in the Church administration also learned the same lesson, and are just quiet about the plagiarism issue. They hope it will just fade away, and the party goes on! Unless people keep “poking the stuff.” :wink: :wink: :roll_eyes:


#130

I was curious about the history of the modern footnote. According to Wikipedia, a London printer is credited with inventing the footnote, which was first used in the Bishops Bible in 1568. Hardly new to 19th century scholars and writers.


#131

The bureaucrats have too much invested in maintaining the status quo. Ellen will remain firmly attached to her pedestal, ethics be d*mned.).


#132

George, @GeorgeTichy, i think the nerve you touch here is a “golden thread”… and I would like to spin the perspective to “actually meeting EGW”. I took some time over the last few days, to examine/re-examine the people “most influential” in my life… not those I read, but actual contact with people from which i could “sense” the aura of the person… did they attract or repel me based on “how” they communicated.

There are times when, (upon reflection), the encounter was most probably an angel, or a sent encounter by God’s providence… and/or better yet the “guidance” or direction, or “redirection” of thought … I “received from that person”… left me more aware or less aware of God’s presence.

So… I ran several scenario’s in my head… replacing meeting EGW in these scenarios… and observed something quite interesting… My acceptance of her, (positive read) of the “encounter” would be how inclusive she interacted with me. Jesus focused on acknowledging the good in others and “drew His listeners in” by practicing good listening skills…

And to further “confuse” the perspective… I ran the scenarios regarding those that I’ve met in leadership.

It was quite a scary … “test case” when you put communication values into play and re-order the pyramid hierarchy of needs analysis into … stark relief.

I know now that Jesus cares for me… before, during, and after conversion.

It’s very strange that I was taught to earn (28 FB) for baptism, earn salvation (seal before COP), and live without sinning (without a mediator).

What got me started on this line of thinking was your bomb loosing control… sentence.

Jesus encouragd people to trust him… while SDA I was repeatedly instructed to monitor my own “behavior” as a delimiting variable. But what i really needed to hear …was listen (Jesus speaking), my yoke is easy, and my burden is light…

with kind regards,


(Johnny Carson) #133

Interesting perspective and thought exercise, Grace. Thanks for sharing. :slight_smile:


#134

Hi George, thanks for your reply. I appreciate your engagement in the conversation. This post will probably be my last post on here, at least for a while. But you have made me think, and I appreciate the friendly discussion.
For me, the explanations provided in the article I shared with you and the many other defences like it, make sense. The claims against her have been proven wrong in my opinion. The idea that the church covered up the truth has been proven wrong. There has been countless books and articles written about the issue of plagiarism which clearly show that the claims against her are wrong. In some cases, the attacks are lies plain and simple, and the amount she is claimed to have borrowed or stolen is grossly overstated and has been proven false many times. She never denied using other people’s ideas and words and she did as the Bible writers did. Perhaps I am in denial or unwilling to see the truth. Or perhaps it is you who is willing to accept that the plagiarism claim in invalid in the face of the evidence. It comes down to which evidence we are willing to accept.
I believe Ellen White was a prophet and I want to believe she was a prophet… I don’t want to have to come to terms with the implications to my faith and my church if it turns out we are wrong. So maybe when I read the explanations and defences of Ellen White, I accept them too willingly. Maybe I’m brainwashed.
However, the same thing is true for you, is it not? I don’t want to put words in your mouth. But it seems to me like you and others on here see the explanations as a desperate, dishonest and pathetic attempt by the church and individuals to defend a lying, stealing false prophet. You decide to accept the attacks against Ellen White and reject the rebuttals put forward In her defence. Perhaps it is you who are brainwashed into not accepting her inspiration (regardless of the evidence) and have rejected God’s prophet. I see the attacks against Ellen white as a desperate attempt by the devil to discredit God’s message. Would either of us be willing to re-look at the evidence without any pre-conceived ideas and be willing to admit fault and change our opinion? I hope I would, but it would be difficult. I will continue to study the issues, but I can’t see myself coming to a different conclusion. My question is, what if certain predictions Ellen White made come true? What if a Sunday law does happen? Would you reconsider your scepticism?
We are equally passionate and equally convinced that what we believe is correct. I assume we both want the truth and both of us want to follow Jesus faithfully. But one of us has to be wrong. I’m not a scholar and I’m only in my early 20’s, so it’s entirely possible that you know things about Ellen White that I haven’t come across yet. Perhaps you’re more intelligent than me, and perhaps I’m in denial. However, I can honestly say that I have looked at the issues and my conscience tells me that Ellen White was inspired. Therefore, to reject her is to reject God’s messenger and His message. Whenever Israeli rejected a prophet, it ended badly. Honestly, to me, the evidence seems more conclusive that she was a prophet. All the plagiarism attacks I have read don’t seem to hold up when examined. I guess for now we will have to agree to disagree. I will continue studying, and maybe over time, my views will evolve. We should try to not become so entrenched in our opinion/wisdom that we shut out all other possibilities. I appreciate your engagement in the conversation, and you have helped me to think critically about what I believe. God bless!


(Steve ) #135

Read the summary of Vince Ramik, the attorney who was tasked to investigate these plagiarism issues when it was discovered that EGW took material from other authors. He found no case.


#136

Stuart, @Stuart, thanks for your honesty and for sharing your perspective. There are several “junction points” that one can hold… regarding EGW and where she “sits” on a plagiarist, inspirational, and personal level (how she related to God).

What is very hard to describe, and @GeorgeTichy is very good (as others are given their experienced and varied hue of knowledge and life interactions) responding to nuanced and differently worded “perspectives” of these differing “variables”.

There are some words and terms in the SDA nomenclature that are VERY “multifaceted”. Please read carefully what I am going to highlight now (because for me - I have thought very much along the same lines of your self discovery in the past).

  • Perfection means obedience, heart worship, being right with God, living without sin, and honoring God **** NOTE **** … all of these terms are not comprehensive in description or thought – when people invoke the word - so… depending on your “frame of reference”… you might be talking about the “head of the elephant” … and someone else is talking about the foot… and yet you both dont see the “whole picture” of what perfection “really” means - and as I grow in faith my perspective of what perfection “really is” has and is changing in breadth and scope.

  • Sabbath - on the NT perspective alone with Hebrews chapt 3/4 there is a depth to “God’s rest” that is permanent – and means “wholeness” sabbatismos… the more I study this concept the more I understand “take my yoke upon you” as an imperative.
    Roughly stated to myself (as a reminder)… obedience is not the Sabbath. It is a gift that i receive that also honor’s my Creator.

  • Ellen G White - back to the main point - to me - I cannot externally validate EGW through a plagiarist prism . Other’s can and I respect that. I don’t need to defend her. Truth stands on it’s own… but the “lost ingredient” in my self study of God’s word and what the imperatives in the NT for “spreading the Gospel”… necessitates for me a full understanding of her as a person. I cannot deify her, just as I cannot deify David in the OT. Her messages have value to me, because I have read them… however the “value to me” is relative based on how I’ve individually come to the conclusion through varied and extensive thought and prayer and examination. It would be inappropriate to “litmus tes” others “acceptance” or “value”… based on a single “perspective” regarding EGW… it’s abusive - and taking ownership here… I’ve crossed many others boundaries in my life “instructing others on what they are supposed to believe”. I applaud @George and others for defending the “value” of coming to biblical conclusions not “EGW pre-stamped” perspectives. If you come to the conclusion regarding EGW excellent – only God is pre-eminent…

For me to discount another’s journey of “self discovery” (prove all things and HOLD fast to what is good) … to me,… cannot be my focus.

I may be wrong in defense of George (I don’t agree with everything anyone says)… but I weigh their input, knowledge, life experience, and what I view to be the “motivational” perspective they are coming from – I too have a concern for a “vanilla” perspective regarding how “others” interpret EGW for themselves. Why would I want to spiritually abuse others by dictating and taking from them … the unique and awesome opportunity to “experience God”.

To me God wants people to be “real”, and in the arena… I found myself woefully lacking whilst an SDA … because most of the time I “sat in the stands eating popcorn”.

I will close with this thought… I am more sure that God loves me, because I continue to spend time trying to connect with Him daily…and less sure about what happens in my life… God is never an illusion if you directly seek him and discover truth… the older I get… the more i realize that nothing is sure in this life… only His grace and that it is sufficient…

It gives me true solace and assurance – because I know that God is faithful.

Hope this helps.

with kind regards,


(dale) #137

You mentiond the white lie and that book itself isn’t speaking the truth. But if one is looking for something to try to cast doubt then it suits the purpose. There have been enough examinations of the book the white lie that have compared them to the facts and the book comes up wanting.


(Frankmer7) #138

Stuart… you may want to consider the fact that the 1919 bible conference was grappling with the dilemma that her writings were not put together in the way they had been portrayed. They were hung up over what to do, and the impact this would have on the church should this become public knowledge. They weren’t concerning themselves over something that was untrue. No apologists for EGW have ever delegitimizing that conference. The minutes were hidden, discovered in 1974, and the explosion happened. This is when the apologists really kicked in.

Also, the GC commissioned Fred Veltmann, an Adventist source critic, to determine her dependence on other sources. He studied a fifteen chapter slice of the DofA. It took him eight years, from 1980-88. He concluded that 31% of the material was either directly or indirectly plagiarized. His greatest concern was the ethical implications this raised over the lack of admission and transparency by EGW and her contemporaries. The GC had his report delivered to all pastors, at least in North America. The issue became buried and went unaddressed… again. His report, as far as I know, was never refuted.

The third incident was the threat of a lawsuit by the authors of the book she used to compile her Sketches of the Life of Paul. Her book was pulled from publication and distribution. This is fact.

The evidence is there. Add in Ronald Numbers book, and the many side by side comparisons one can read for themselves of her writings with original sources, and it becomes clear that a real problem exists. The apologists have never discredited these happenings, and have done gymnastics to explain it all away through comparisons to biblical prophets, copyright laws, etc. Try as they might, these explanations often don’t do justice to the evidence, and fail to take into account the cultural differences between the biblical writers’ times and the America of EGW.

Now the issue is largely ignored, for the reasons you have stated. It will shake and damage the faith of too many, the very thing they were worried about in the 1919 conference. It could also change the structure and shape of Adventism if it is dealt with openly and head on. The price is deemed to be too high. Shutting eyes and demonizing those who call attention to this is easier.

She has become the third rail. Characters have been attacked and careers ruined over this. Just ask Numbers, Ford, etc.

Thanks…

Frank


(dale) #139

Jesus says if you love me keep my commandments. That’s a pretty plain statement. We also know that the first fruit of the spirit is love. Now if the Holy Spirit has place a love in your hear that is going to mature and grow, what is the logical conclusion when the fruit is full grown? Because the actions are a direct result of an inward work of the spirit.

Second, the sabbath is the ultimate sign of righteousness by faith. I observe the sabbath because there isn’t a thing that I can add to my creation and God says keep the seventh Day because I made everything. I believe God so I honour that day through faith in him. The second dimension that comes in is that he brought me out of bondage to sin so the sabbath is a sign of his redemption (as were given in the 10 commandments in Deuteronomy). So I know there isn’t a thing that I can add to my redemption, so my faith compels me to rest in his completed works of creation and redemption by restisng in the day that he has set aside for that. I only get that rest because I believe what God says, and what sayeth the scripture? Abraham believed God and it was counted to him for righteousness. Noah’s faith led him to build the ark. Read Hebrews 11 faith are all tied to works. Because if you believe god there will be a change in what you do. It is inevitable it happens in every aspect of our lives so why not with God?

The Adventist (biblical) message is the most logical message that I have seen, it makes the most sense and every doctrine fits together seamlessly I cannot say that about any other Christian religion. There is so much confusion on doctrine in Christianity today there isn’t really much consensus and in fact they are moving away from reformed doctrine.

I couldn’t leave Adventism for any other faith, there are too many biblical inconsistencies that I just cannot swallow, like the interpretation of prophecy, the state of the dead, the immortality of the soul. I would give up on religion all together if I ever left adventism but I know that my redeemer lives. So I will continue in what I see with my own eyes to be true. Ellen white only confirms what I have already seen in the bible.

So thanks for all the comments, but on the point of the message my views will never change. Voicing whatever you would like isn’t going to change it one iota.


(Steve Mga) #140

Frank –
Regarding “The Great Controversy”.
The First Issue [Printing] of The Great Controversy was written with NO CITATIONS.
When the Issue came up, a group of persons went through the book, and ADDED
the citations where Ellen had copied from other source materials.
Later Editions contained the ADDED Quotation marks, indicating her copied source
materials.
Again, I learned this at Madison College around 1960.


(George Tichy) #141

Stuart,
It’s sad hearing that apparently you no longer enjoy the open conversation we have on this site and decided to leave.

Regarding your comments, it caught my attention that you first wrote that maybe you were brainwashed, then stating that maybe I am brainwashed, and finishing by implying that those who see things different than you may be doing the Devil’s work. Interesting progression of thoughts.

I fully respect your views on the issue of EGW. Everyone has to make a choice considering the facts they examine. And you said it well,

Apparently these reasons are strong factors for your decision making process. They are not for me. We are very different for this matter. Long time ago I accepted that the Bible contains everything one needs to find God, to accept Jesus as personal Savior, and to learn what a Christian life looks like. What else is needed? In my opinion, nothing. Unfortunately Adventism decided that for some reason the Bible is not complete without EGW’s writings, another 100,000 pages., That’s a lot of reading, and a good money maker as well…

I believe the Bible IS complete, and any additions are actually “not-recommended” in the Book of Revelation. So I decided to stick with the Sola Scriptura principle. Others, like yourself, decided differently and I have no problem with that. What I have a problem is with the suggestion that those who decided for Sola Scriptura may in any way be used by the Devil … This is indeed insane.

I am sorry you see my decision as “skepticism.” No, it’s not. My decision was (is) based on factual evidence that is public knowledge, and I refuse to keep justifying why plagiarism happened. There is no need for that. What is indeed disappointing as well is that the knowledge of the facts became public despite the Denomination’s immense effort to brush it off. This is, for me, inexcusable and tells a lot about intentions.

When I was in my early 20’s I was a very strong defender of EGW. I had finished 4 years of college (School of Theology) and was fully convinced of my convictions. Then …, before I turned 30 hell broke loose: I found out that a lot of information had not been disclosed by the Church to its members, and even to its pastors!!! I re-studied it all with a completely open mind, and decided to be on the safe side only: The Bible only. I will be 68 next month. And the behavior of the Denomination in the pasts ca. 38 years assures me that I made the right decision - for me, of course.

This is the most rewarding statement for me. If as a fruit of my conversation with someone that person’s critical thinking is enhanced, I feel extremely rewarded; independently of the final decision they make for themselves.

Stuart, I wish you would reconsider staying part of the Spectrum crowd. This is a well of knowledge where we never stop learning. But, again, you need to use your critical thinking and make your own decision on this issue as well.

Be well!