The Great Controversy is undoubtedly an important eschatological book, but one must know how to read it. Like every prophetic-narrative description, it uses various literary styles. Consequently, before reading literally, one must know how to interpret these descriptive strategies. They include:
This I think is the root cause of failure in the Adventist church in its lack of growth and loss of members.
We have failed to provide education that allows us to understand the world around us. Our schools do not improve our literacy of cultural context i.e. ancient writers sensibilities and cultural context. Adventist schools and culture teach us to fear and shun literature, music, art and science that is outside 19th century level of thinking rather than providing the ability to understand it (literacy).
This article demonstrates that the church has remained static in mid-19th century thinking and anything beyond that point is of little value at best and at worst will lead us to perdition. The paradox is that we have ignored White’s own thoughts on the necessity and natural progression of our understanding which will make us change our “view on things”. Instead, many staunchly refuse to accept the “new light” as it is revealed to us. So many misconceptions and misunderstandings are being illuminated now, but this “new light” is being rejected simply because it was not known to 19th century Adventists or to the Bible’s ancient peoples.
We must constantly and prayerfully evaluate our cherished beliefs to be sure that they are actually on a secure foundation. Only in this way will we be open to the Spirit’s leading as more light is revealed to us and avoid the fate of the Israelites.
If how we relate to food, medicine, and nature is evidence of our postmillennial tendencies, then we could perhaps shore up our premillennial beliefs through unhealthy dieting, abandonment of our hospital system, and advocating for the destruction of nature.
Well, it might also be important to list the multiple writers, editors, fact-finders, cleaner-uppers, writers borrowed-from and everybody else involved in the production of this fund-raiser book called the Great Controversy. All that mish-mash makes it tough to take GC seriously even in an article by a respected person such as Hanz Gutierrez.
A candid reader would never recommend this book for public distribution. More so if it is compared with the Bible teachings on some fundamental doctrines. This book is only fit within the denomination.
How many Adventists really know what this book teaches on the Resurrection of the last day (which is eschatological)? Her teaching is not in harmony with the bible. here are some points to note:
That Ellen white will be alive to see Jesus come in the clouds along with the 144, 000, and the sabbath keepers of her time (according to EGW Estate, includes all the sabbath keepers of all time)
“Soon our eyes were drawn to the East, for a small black cloud had appeared about half as large as a man’s hand, which we all knew was the Sign of the Son of Man. We all in solemn silence gazed on the cloud as it drew nearer, lighter, and brighter, glorious, and still more glorious, till it was a great white cloud” (A Word to the Little Flock, p. 14, 1847).
“Soon there appears in the east a small black cloud, about half the size of a man’s hand. It is the cloud which surrounds the Saviour and which seems in the distance to be shrouded in darkness. The people of God know this to be the sign of the Son of man. In solemn silence they gaze upon it as it draws nearer the earth, becoming lighter and more glorious, until it is a great white cloud” (GC, p. 640).
“Graves are opened, and “many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth … awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.” Daniel 12:2. All who have died in the faith of the third angel’s message come forth from the tomb glorified, to hear God’s covenant of peace with those who have kept His law. “They also which pierced Him” (Revelation 1:7), those that mocked and derided Christ’s dying agonies, and the most violent opposers of His truth and His people, are raised to behold Him in His glory and to see the honor placed upon the loyal and obedient” (GC, p. 637.1, 1911). See GC, pp. 640, 644). The above describes the events to take place before the second advent, before the general resurrection. This is not what the New testament teaches on the subject.