Let’s briefly go back to the questions I asked in the first posts that give the definition of a cult. At the time, I gave absolutely no answer to them. Today, I’ll fill in the answers to what I’ve written about in less than a week.
- Are they teaching Biblical doctrine, or heretical? There’s only two options. Answer: Heretical – Jesus is Michael
- Are they preaching the Gospel, or another Gospel? No answer yet.. but a different Jesus is a different gospel…
- Is their Jesus the Jesus of the Bible, or a different Jesus? A Different Jesus… Michael, the Arch-Angel and Captain of God’s Host… (Patriarchs and Prophets, pg. 761)
- Do they rely solely on the word of God, or upon extra-Biblical writings? Let’s see, Great controversy,Patriarchs and Prophets… I would say extra-Biblical writings…
- Do they derive their doctrines solely from the word of God, or do the teachings of the organization/denomination/cult have equal weight to the Bible? Equal Weight
- Is there a central figure or group they owe a personal allegiance to? Ellen G. White
- Do they regard their cult/denomination/group as the only true church? The SDA considers themselves the Remnant Church, and relies upon the teachings of Ellen G. White that Satan has taken possession of the Protestant “Church”
- Do they add required actions or works to assist as a means of salvation? Not answered yet… stay tuned
So far, we – in just a few days – have positively identified 6 out of 8 hallmarks of a cult concerning the SDA. That should worry you a LOT. The problem with being in a cult is that you’re stuck on the idea that you are part of the few that have it RIGHT, and everyone else is so WRONG. That feeling alas is partly correct – those who have their soteriology (doctrines of salvation) correct number to less than a few percent of the planet. Sadly, the SDA is not part of that number, and we’ll get into that.
The problem, as you’re about to find out, is that Ellen G. White started making pronouncements and visions when she didn’t know a lot of the Bible. She made HUGE mistakes in her doctrines, and by the time she’d “learned” better, well, by that time she’d written massive volumes with those doctrinal mistakes in them. She never recanted the “Jesus is Michael the archangel” doctrine, so if you come out of the SDA and get saved, I’m afraid you may not be talking to her in heaven. That’s a terrible doctrinal error to surmount, to insist that Jesus Christ is a created being. As readers of this blog saw recently, last month I posted a link to a SermonAudio story that shows that 1 in 5 Evangelical Christians believe the same thing.
Am I saying that 20% of Christians will not be in heaven, then?
Absolutely I am saying that. If you can’t answer that simple question right… “but who do ye say that I am?”… you’re a tare, a false convert.
24 I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:24 (KJV)
I wonder how many SDA are familiar with the Kellogg brothers? Dr. Kellogg (yes the breakfast cereal guy) was SDA. He for a time ended up being the physician consulted for Ellen G. White, which led eventually to his doctrinal stance that he no longer considered her writing inspired. He was hauled in for an inquisition, which lasted 12 hours and had hundreds of pages of transcripts. It seems that the problem was that he had authority over the Battle Creek, Michigan Sanitarium, and that Ellen G. was incensed that he was not following at heel to her commands. So the inquisition was ordered to attempt to regain control over the Battle Creek Sanitarium.
In the pages of the transcripts – which I’m sure the SDA denomination will supply if you request it – there is an odd comment, as reported by D. A. Canwright…
“You know, in the days of the Elder [Elder James White], how her writings were handled, just as well as I do.” Dr. Kellogg replied: “Of course I do.”
That should feel roughly like someone just dumped ice water on you. This is the truth about Ellen G. White’s writings.
When the SDA were first formed, the SDA consisted of James White, Joseph Butler, and Ellen Harmon. Now, the official propaganda films of the SDA all show a room of upset men and women, suggesting the Great Disappointment, and a wild eyed girl portraying the part of Ellen Harmon, who begins talking, and everyone looking pleased, as if she had her first vision in the morning hours immediately after the Great Disappointment.
Well, in reality, the entire Adventist movement was not present in one room, as it was tens of thousands of people. And in reality, it was two months later that Ellen Harmon had her first visions.
Miss Harmon married James White in 1846, when she was encouraged by James White and Joseph Bates to continue having them. Hm. Both men stood publicly on their belief they were divine visions (we’re going to analyze them in depth in a day or so…).
Why did they have to encourage her? Did anyone put a reassuring hand on Daniel’s shoulder and say, “Don’t worry, Belteshazzar… keep having those visions!”
No, Daniel knew they were of God. Jeremiah knew when God seized his voice and spoke through him it was God. Isaiah had no doubts. I can’t find any prophet of God who worried about their position that they were a prophet of God.
But Ellen Harmon worried about them.
“I was sometimes tempted to doubt my own experience” (Early Writings,” p. 18).
‘I am afraid I shall become an infidel'” (“Testimonies,” Vol. I., p. 597).
There are two personalities who suffered either from a blend of religious mania and Epilepsy, or from a mild form of Schizophrenia – or even demonic possession. I cannot by US Federal law name the one individual, but I can name Ellen G. Harmon White as the other. D. A .Canwright holds no doubt that she had epilepsy. I could go either way on it.
But both individuals worried about their visions and booming prophetic voices they heard, worrying that they were from a demon or from means where they worried about not only the source, but their own eternal soul.
So, what do we have here, then? Ellen White worried about her visions. Elders Bates and White encouraged her. We have a cryptic question about “you know how her visions were handled.”
Ellen G. White was being influenced by Elders Bates and White to have visions upon request.
William Miller teaches for years an 1843 rapture. Ellen White has a vision afterwards saying he was right… even though it never happened. William Miller also taught the 1844 rapture. Ellen White has a vision proclaiming that one right, too – despite it never happening.
Elder Bates believed in a seventh day Sabbath. By a miracle, she suddenly has a vision, showing the fourth commandment glowing. And the Adventist group they were part of becomes the Seventh Day Adventists. Miraculous. Prudent. It allowed her to cement the alliance between the two men, who both had strong leadership skills.
Later, J. N. Andrews comes to the Adventists, and explains how the Jews calculated the time of the Sabbath, from sundown to sundown. This is in direct opposition to the 6 PM time of Elder Bates. A vision boldly comes forth, telling the Adventists they’ve been breaking the Sabbath, and henceforth are to do it from sundown to sundown. When voices are raised in confusion with how these things are reconciled, she tells everyone that a vision will come forth explaining it!
well, it never showed up. Ellen by that time has a meeting with Elder White, who tells her she’s working too hard, and to in essence retire. No problem, she does that. So nobody ever gets the explanation.
But Elder White by that time… has been dead for some time.
Early on in the Adventist history, O. R. L. Crosier joins the movement, but has a theory about the 1844 date being Christ entering the sanctuary, and beginning the Investigative Judgment. Lo and behold, Ellen White has a vision concerning it.
Later Crosier repudiates the theory, but by that time it’s too entrenched in the SDA writings. See, Ellen had a bad habit of writing books. Or copying them, as we’ll see.
Soul sleep they lifted from the First Day Adventists, who they had a falling out with. But prior to that… she has a vision about the state of the dead. Oh, my! Her vision miraculously coincides with their doctrine!
When Elder White needed money, he conceives a scheme whereby every SDA member lists the full value of their property and their estimated income for the next year, and that every SDA would pay tithes in advance. Yes, the Independent Baptist “promise giving” comes from the Seventh Day Adventists. It’s a good reason to drop that sorry tradition that only a few churches practice.
Do you see the pattern? I could go on and on, but basically it would read every event in the SDA history, and the subsequent vision Ellen G. White had in response.
The tip off should have been her promise that the conflict between the 6 pm sabbath and the Sunday sabbath.
See, visions from the Lord would come at the Lord’s time, not Ellen’s time. If the Lord changed things, wouldn’t He have explained why, at the time? Why did He need to try to think of an explanation over the next few days?
Well if it was the Lord, He wouldn’t change His mind. He’d have given the right answer right from the start. So, by the “Lord”, Ellen G. White meant… Ellen G. White.
This was why Ellen White got so imperious in her latter years. She’d gone from a frail, sickly, nervous girl with a crippling brain injury to someone who demanded obedience, and was enraged when it was not forthcoming. And If she was inventing visions and writing declarations as “thus sayeth the Lord”, then subconsciously she had adopted a new Lord. Not Jesus Christ, but…
….Ellen G. White.
no wonder she would get so angry over any disobedience. Wasn’t she the Lord? God obviously needed her, now that she’d demoted Jesus Christ from God incarnate to mere Archangel!
Think about all this. Tomorrow, we”re going to start answering some of her claims and writings.