If my family’s experience is in any way instructive, it is a truly terrifying threat, and you don’t exaggerate, Chuck. Thank you for that.
Regrettably, I don’t see anyone else feeling terrified, even all these decades after the facts were laid out, which is even more terrifying.
Here’s something I said in January of 2015:
Regarding Erv Taylor’s remarks in aToday, Jim Moyers’ story is, in my opinion, an illustration that “What Shall We Do With Ellen White?” is about actual people, and not about the “long-term intellectual and theological health of Adventism in the 21st century,” or the “long-term viability and credibility of the Adventist faith community in the modern world among educated individuals.”
Adventism is very difficult to recover from for many, many people. Families have been destroyed, lives have been lost.
“Telling the truth about the Adventist prophet” would go far towards removing the onus of blame from those who went to the trouble of taking Ellen White as seriously as she told us we must, and suffered thereby, but would not, of course, heal the grievous harm done. But, to borrow Charles Scriven’s words, it would be a good first step.
Jim Moyers:. There was no one to whom I could turn with my increasing confusion about what was and was not true. Even those people I knew who, unlike me, seemed to be cheerfully engaged in every form of prohibited behavior they could think of, seemed to have no interest in questioning basic Adventist beliefs. Or at least they were not discussing any doubts that they may have had. Perhaps, like me, they simply didn’t know how to go about a critical examination of the only paradigm they had for understanding themselves and the world.
It will be a momentous development when Adventism takes its eyes off itself, and focuses on people, and what they need for healthy development, and what it takes to heal people whose development has been damaged, especially by spiritual abuse, such as not telling the truth about the Adventist prophet.
I’d like to repeat most of what I said two years ago on the thread, What Shall We Do With Ellen White?–notably the parts about the brick wall, and pressing together, which can be found here.
Women’s ordination may be the proximate cause for this church splitting, but, in my opinion, the ultimate cause for this tragic family rupture lies much deeper, in the terrifying generational dishonesty endemic in this church, set in motion by Ellen White.
As you said Chuck, “God had better help us.”
I somehow imagine that help will arrive when people become more important to Adventists than Adventism-the-institution.
Charles Scriven: Our problem with respect to Ellen White seems so confounding, and so impossible for fearful (or downright manipulative) church leaders to actually confront.
If we reframe this seemingly hopeless situation as a form of personal and collective travail, then it may be borne with grace and at least a degree of equanimity.
If we persist in seeing this as a zero sum moral contest, terrifying is the only word to describe the process and the results, especially in regard to the young.
If Adventists will put the welfare of the young first, I think they will find that the finest of the Adventist ideals, aspirations and mission will be preserved and fulfilled.
This will require the most severe travail imaginable. It can be entered voluntarily, or it can be forced upon us.