It can’t happen as you know. Belief in EGW as being equal to the Bible is too ingrained in the Adventist culture.
The same way it is accomplished in any other community. Affirm, the beautiful, the lovely and the true. Strongly affirm these. People live in their beliefs. It’s like their home. Weather one wants to renovate a home or take it down. Always always, convince the occupant of the better outcome first. If we start tearing down the walls, taking down the roof, while people have not been relocated this is a sure way to build animosity and to be banned from the homestead. Rather to live in someone’s house and prove ourselves worthy guests. Then we have room to suggest things, changes, even entirely selling and buying a new one or taking the whole structure down to build another in its place. We should never take away people’s torn shoes without offering new ones. This is a principle I use when JWs knock on my door, when in conversation with people of the Mormon persuasion, I use it with SDAs I use it with Protestants, I use it with friends and enemies. One can not antagonize and persuade at the same time, at least not in a healthy way.
So how do we live in people’s “home”. We listen. We ask without judgement. We listen with curiosity. We ask, what’s this on the wall ? What does it mean? As people feel safe they open up about the broken furniture and how it’s not working for them. Where we have a solution we offer it, where we have none we help them make the best of what they have. So then always we always seek to be known as those who bring something better in peace, we seek to be known as those who accept something better with grateful hearts. By modeling this, we slowly erode the love of being right and replace it with the love of people. It’s a long, painstaking work. But love is patient. And in the end all will confess: “God is love”.
By looking to the final confession, we find guidance in our journey there.
I suggest it is not that the official church position is she is equal to scripture. It is much more nuanced.
It is how she interprets a particular text that is sacrosanct in practice.
Ah, Antony…you also take away the reason for formal religion as well. It is simply not needed in this “Love Formula” .
Agree! Salvation is not corporate, but an individual process. I have a better hope for the .org, just not under the current administration.
Religion is what we use to box people in so we can dismiss them. Instead religion should be what we use to let people in so we can eat together. In Zimbabwe they say, relations are not really united unless they eat together.
ukama igasva, hunozadziswa nekudya : relationship is broken, not united and can only be fixed by food/sharing a meal
Uh-oh…this could be a problem for Sevies.
this is an excellent statement…i believe that in the same way the NT reveals to us what is easily missed or misunderstood in the OT, egw reveals to us to us what is easily missed or misunderstood in the bible, and in the realm of science…there’s nothing else like her…she was light yrs ahead of her time, and even most of today…it would have been so incredibly interesting to spend a few hours in conversation with her…
Testimones Vol 5, p. 67: “In these letters which I write, in the testimonies I bear, I am presenting to you that which the Lord has presented to me. I do not write one article in the paper expressing merely my own ideas. They are what God has opened before me in vision—the precious rays of light shining from the throne.”
Is this the truth of God or is it deception?
Just to show that plagiarism was very much a known concept among SDAs long before the turn of the centure, see what was published when James White was editor of the Review:
The Review and Herald
BATTLE CREEK, MICH., THIRD-DAY, SEPTEMBER 6, 1864
This is a word that is used to signify “literary theft,” or the taking the productions of another and passing them off as one’s own.
In the World’s Crisis of Aug. 23, 1864, we find a piece of poetry duly headed, “For the World’s Crisis,” and signed “Luthera B. Weaver.” What was our surprise, therefore, to find this piece our familiar hymn, “Long upon the mountains weary, have the scattered flock been torn.” This piece was written by Annie R. Smith, and was first published in the Review, Vol. ii, No. 8, Dec. 9, 1851, and has been in our hymn book ever since the first edition thereafter issued. But worst of all the piece is mutilated, the second and most significant verse being suppressed: namely, “Now the light of truth they’re seeking, In its onward track pursue; […]”
We are perfectly willing that pieces from the Review, or any of our books should be published to any extent, and all we ask is, that simple justice be done us, by due credit being given. Adventist Review Sept. 6, 1864.
3T 314: “Some are ready to inquire: Who told Sister White these things? They have even put the question to me: Did anyone tell you these things? I could answer them: Yes; yes, the angel of God has spoken to me. But what they mean is: Have the brethren and sisters been exposing their faults? For the future, I shall not belittle the testimonies that God has given me, to make explanations to try to satisfy such narrow minds, but shall treat all such questions as an insult to the Spirit of God. God has seen fit to thrust me into positions in which He has not placed any other one in our ranks.”
Is this truth or blasphemy?
Well…, Let’s not forget that her books have been, and still are, a very good source of income for some people. Therefore, there is a great motivation to preserve and promote those “scriptures.” It’s called $$$$$.
“However, I am not expecting such a change to happen. The SDA Church is based on Ellen White, therefore there is no hope of change. We, as individuals, can make a decision like this in our private lives. But the church is not going to do it.”
George this is spot on absolutely right!
Change is not complete repentance if you only stop doing bad things. You will know if repentance happened to someone by the proactive, practical, gospel-motivated blessings they provide to other people. Jesus did not come to earth just to help you stop sinning. He had a higher vision. He wants us to go beyond the putting off phase of your sanctification, which you can authenticate by your (1) dying to yourself and (2) living for others. Repentance is more than conceptual; it is practical. Actual repentance moves a person from selfishness to selflessness. True change is long-term and a sustained other-centered living for the glory of God.
It is true for EGW because she experienced it. Blasphemy? No. But among mental health professionals, it is a compelling evidence of delusion of grandeur.
You have a few pearls of Wisdom in what you have said. You have defined the issue with “religion” and then have described what true religion should be able to do. Unfortunately, so often it fails at doing what it should.
Thank-you for sharing a cultural gem…I completely agree that nothing in the spiritual sense can be united unless it is at the human juncture.
I thought that you might enjoy this:
" REORDER: Every religion, each in its own way, is trying to move us to enlightenment, nirvana, heaven, salvation, or resurrection. Mature spirituality points to life on the other side of death, the victory on the other side of failure, the joy on the other side of the pains of childbirth. It insists on going through — not under, over, or around . There is no nonstop flight to reorder. To arrive there, we must endure, learn from, and include the disorder stage, including the first naïve order — but also transcending it! That is the hard won secret."
"it would have been so incredibly interesting to spend a few hours in conversation with her…"
Completely fascinating, Jeremy…
Indeed… very fascinating… …
I can imagine myself asking her how many candles were burned every night when she was “borrowing” those texts from other authors…
Just like Ellen White`s books, the 1260 years interpretation (538 - 1798) is just a re-interpretation of the works/prophecy re-interpretations of other 18th century Christians.
Some Christians had interpreted the 1260 year period and predicted that the papacy would end around 1800. When it did not occur it was re-interpreted, just like the 1844 re-interpretation of Jesus coming back by William Miller.
Drue Cressener (c. 1638-1718), an Anglican minister, identifies the Catholic Church as the fourth apocalyptic beast (c. Dan 7; Rev 13: 5/8) and the beginning of its 1260 years of reign with Justinian the Great sometime in the sixth century. Consequently, a major blow to Catholicism was expected to happen to the papacy around
1800, and he seems to have been the first to argue for that position.
It doesn’t take into account all the other major blows that happened through the Middle Ages. How about the great schism of 1054? How about the Avignon papacy? Historicism can give short shrift to history.