Blackface, Cultural Lies, and Ellen G. White — Or, What Is Present Truth?

On July 4, 1912, eighty-three-year-old Ellen G. White celebrated, with dozens of Adventists, land purchased for the St. Helena Sanitarium in Northern California. In the early years of the twentieth century, Adventists considered sanitariums one of the most influential organizations in promoting the "present truth," stated inversely as combating the culture's lies. They believed commonly held cultural lies spread pain, destruction, and ruin on the population. With sanitariums, Adventists counterattacked the scattering of lies, primarily lies woven around nutrition and healthful living. With White's help, three sanitariums, Paradise Valley, Glendale, and Loma Linda, mushroomed in Southern California in the previous decade. In Angwin, California, the Adventist family took a day off to relax and unwind. White participated in the flag-raising ceremony, several patriotic rites, mingling, eating, and watching an afternoon baseball game. By the evening, tired, she asked for a ride home, a short distance from the celebration.[1]     

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There were many different games the EGW disapproved. A simple EGW Index search shows us her dislike of of many games: saying “Casting all your care upon Him; for He careth for you. “Be sober, be vigilant” (not in kicking football and in educating yourselves in the objectionable games which ought to make every Christian blush with mortification at the afterthoughts)…”

Other games that were objectional were: pugilistic boxing, matched games, Cricket, football matches, horse racing, tennis and theatrical performances. She was not opposed to baseball as a simple activity, it was when it was played at as a matched game Satan would steal their souls.

There is an account of a Battle Creek College revival that was lost due to students playing their matched games.

“I have not been able to find one instance where he educated his disciples to engage in amusement of football or pugilistic games to obtain physical exercise, or in theatrical performances; and yet, Christ was our pattern in all things.” EGW

“There are amusements, such as dancing, card-playing, chess, checkers, etc., which we cannot approve, because Heaven condemns them.”

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