Ted Wilson’s Obsession with “The Great Controversy”

The first time I learned of Elder Ted Wilson and his administration’s strategy to distribute up to one billion copies of Ellen White’s The Great Controversy (TGC), I caught myself reflexively scratching my head. This was announced in August 2021 and it targeted beginning the massive project in 2023, ending in 2024. My question back then was—why? Why does the church want to give away perhaps a billion copies of a 164-year-old book, whose content reflects a world that is largely unrecognizable by the modern readers being targeted?

This is a companion discussion topic for the original entry at https://spectrummagazine.org/views/2023/ted-wilsons-obsession-great-controversy

One of the biggest challenges faced by the SDA church is what to do about EGW. While it is obvious that many aspects of “The Great Controversy” have not stood the test of time, many in the church are reluctant to draw the appropriate conclusion, namely that the contents and ideas in “The Great Controversy” were not messages received from God, and that EGW was no prophet. Or they have drawn this conclusion, but are unwilling to state it openly for fear of being branded a heretic?

Has a proposal ever been brought to the GC floor to amend the fundamental beliefs to stop referring to EGW as the “spirit of prophecy”? When the GC voted to amend the “church manual” to create a “spirit of prophecy coordinator” were any voices raised opposing the measure on the grounds that EGW is/was not the “SOP”?

Or is the only avenue available for those who don’t fall into line to withdraw from the SDA church, since SDAism is the same as EGWism? If it’s the latter, then all SDAs who don’t see EGW’s writings as truth ought to seriously reconsider their continued adherence to SDAism.


As always, Matthew’s logic is nearly impeccable.

But is trumped by TW and EGW’s understanding of divine mathematics.

In heaven, every soul is priceless while billions of human bodies are worthless and can be allowed to suffer and die because one man and woman ate the wrong piece of fruit.

So any and all materialistic assets not used in an effort to save even one soul from torture and/or nonexistence is wasted and an affront to god’s holy will.

In other words, I don’t understand why 100% of SDA tithe dollars aren’t converted into heavenly TGC currency and given to the poor, homeless and lost in lieu of superfluous food, clothing and shelter.

Oh, well.

Maybe when the rest of the impure like me are finally driven…I mean, “shaken” from the church, it will finally be able to fulfill EGW’s most fervent pipe dream….


Adherence to the TGC by the allows the .org to ignore many realities of the world today it simply will not try to understand. Plus, its fringe organizations would move away from the .org if it were to admit that the TGC has been bypassed by much history. Example, there is one fringe organization that claims climate change is of the Devil, EGW claimed as source, and humans have no part of it. The entire world is out to ‘get’ christians, EGW claimed as source. Etc, etc, etc. Why does the .org still allow those fringe organization to promote falsehoods, equate being your neighbors keeper, equal justice for all as a social gospel and evil. Fear is still the great motivation for many people and without that, how would the .org survive? It is not an OBSESSION but a NEED by the .org.(my opinion) Rather sad. EGW and all Bible writers were human but for some they have become Gods. I believe that she is one of the most maligned/misunderstood writers in the church. Not because of her faults, like all of us, but because of the lack of transparency surrounding her by the .org and deification, although not admitted.


Church employees (pastors, theologians, professors) in need of a paycheque are afraid to state clearly that EGW got some stuff wrong. Traditionally the church has held up Deuteronomy 18:19-22 as the test of a “true prophet” - requiring 100% accuracy on the part of a prophet. This boxes them in, forcing them to take one of three positions (1) all of EGW’s words were true with 100% perfection and accuracy - if they appear not to be true, we misunderstand her; (2) EGW was a false prophet; (3) the ancient tales recorded in Deuteronomy are not 100% true, and it’s possible for EGW (and other writers) to have erred without discrediting their entire oeuvre.

None of these is palatable. Claiming EGW’s writings were without error is silly, requires one to ignore history, science and common sense. Claiming EGW was a false prophet is enough to get you branded a heretic - no problem for the likes of me, but for the professional clergy needing a paycheque, it’s a problem. The middle ground (EGW wrote much wisdom, but it’s not 100% reliable) requires one either to ignore Deuteronomy 18, explain it away, or tackle the issue head on and admit the obvious, namely that the biblical text is not 100% accurate. Most will opt to ignore Deuteronomy 18, since questioning the accuracy of the biblical narrative will also get one branded a heretic.


All Matthew Quartey’s arguments regarding the Great Controversy could be used against the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament), don’t you think? So, should we keep reading, studying and using it in our life and witness?


The bible is useful as long as one recognizes it for what it is, a compilation of tales and legends of the Hebrew people with a backstory to cement their nationalism and a tribal God to justify the state religion. Read it and study it by all means, but don’t think that it contains the secret of life, or that locked into the symbolism of Daniel is an encoded roadmap foretelling the future.



The OT and NT accounts make for interesting literature but trying to live one’s life based on 2,000 year old stories, or even EGW’s 1,000’s of pages of nearly 200 year old “copy and paste” version of Jesus’ god news, is like trying to get to Palm Springs using one of Mark Anthony’s navigational charts or Wyatt Earl’s map of the Old West.


There is a process for introducing a new fundamental belief to the floor of the GC session. One would assume it is this process that would be used to introduce a motion to negate a fundamental belief. All church members have access to it. Perhaps pursuing that pathway is where you wish to spend your time.

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I seriously doubt a motion to drop a fundamental belief would go anywhere as it would imply the church was wrong, fundamentally wrong. Much easier to add a belief or clarifying a belief.

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Yes, EGW plagiarized heavily and got a lot of history and medicine (and geology) wrong.
Much of the Bible is, in fact, the writings of ancient peoples experience/memories/mythologies of “God” which we have a lot to learn but a lot to be careful in interpreting. To take parts of it literally is crazy.
But the arc of faith - and arc of the biblical prophets in large are by far about how we should be treating each other, how we should treat the “stranger” and immigrant, how we should treat the poor and neediest among us. It is a social message with an exclamation point in the life of Jesus.


What? You would have us follow what Christ said! "Social_____ " is…well, according to some…of the devil!!Can you believe that! Look, the Bible is a history of divide and conquer, kill your enemies, the power of the sword, etc, etc. Follow the life of Christ…what a novel idea!(tic)

A massive distribution of that heavily plagiarized book, TGC, may trigger “grave consequences.” The plan is to attack all other religions based on a false premise, the idea that the Adventist Church is God’s remnant Church. Is Ted Wilson actually delusional, believing that launching such a terrorist attack on others will speed up Christ’s return?

Where are the people with common sense in the Adventist Denomination, if any? Aren’t they gonna stop that insane plan that can irate everyone else for being attacked so unnecessarily?

I can only imagine media dealing with this issue. Newspapers publishing, “Adventists attack all other religions in a plagiarized book attributed to a self-proclaimed ‘prophet’.”

Can someone, plese, intervene and take Ted Wilson out for lunch? Gave him some coffee, wishing to wake up the man!!!


Watching Adventism twist itself into a prezel used to be a bit amusing now I find it quite sad.
-Jesus did not go to a another “apartment”. His work was finished at the cross.
-Rev. 14 is NOT the gospel as Paul preached it.
-No Sunday Law is mentioned in scripture. Besides there is no more hiding places for SDA’s to run to. (See drones.)
-The Bible mentions nothing about the signature SDA belief of the Investigative Judgement. Besides Jesus is not a Levitical priest and would never act as one as the Investigative judgement indicates.
So sad. The word of God explains itself, it does not need EGW as filter in order to understand that which is quite clear.


Interesting. So I should disregard the multitude of texts in the bible, and Ellen White’s statements, on how to treat my fellowman as irrelevant for today?

The ones that are basically summarized in Matthew25: [For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in:]

[36 Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me.]

[37 Then shall the righteous answer him, saying, Lord, when saw we thee an hungred, and fed thee? or thirsty, and gave thee drink?]

[38 When saw we thee a stranger, and took thee in? or naked, and clothed thee?]

[39 Or when saw we thee sick, or in prison, and came unto thee?]

[40 And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.]


That seems to be a misreading of the GC on our part as rereading it carefully shows clearly those who would seek our lives know exactly where we are.

Having said that, I think we may not be watching the current evangelical church and its blind support of a certain political party and one individual in particular as long as it does the church’s will that has been happening for at least the last 30 year, more I would say.

Some of us are seeing a clear divide being brought about between those who will care about others, born others who are suffering, and those who would harden their hearts in church and state, and that does include the Adventist church.


I wouldn’t do that but it’s up to you.

(I’m pretty if you want to pass a college level course on biology, though, you best disregard-or at least not read literally-the first few chapters of Genesis….)


I’ll say it again…what could possibly go wrong with telling over 1 billion of the world’s population that the church they worship in is the 'beast"? I’m sure this will endear us to the Christian world. Why don’t we just help them build the cross to tie us on and give them the matches to start the fire at our feet?

Sheer idiocy.


Too late for not reading or believing Genesis. But I also know I am human and God is God and to keep an open mind instead of thinking I am so wise. :slight_smile:

I’m sure if I should choose to take such a course I could find a way to answer that would be just fine. Life isn’t so hopeless.


Uh, I’m not sure where you’re going with this but if the Bible says god wants me to think I’m stupid I definitely recommend disregarding those texts.

Just like I disregard the memory verses that say god is okay with slavery, causes animals to talk and hates homosexuals.

But again, that’s just me and you can do as you please.