35. Does the SDA Church teach that Ellen G White was a prophet, and that her words are more important, override or take precedence to the Bible?
Yes, most Adventists typically view Ellen White as a prophet (although she never used that term to describe herself, and to what extent her writings were inspired are often debated).
No, her words are not more important, override or take precedence to the Bible. No doubt some individual Adventists may take that approach, but this is not the historic or official SDA position. This is another oft-cited 'proof' that the
is supposedly a cult - and with respect just plain wrong. Seventh-day Adventist Church
As set out in fundamental belief #18, the
does teach that Ellen White had the gift of prophecy, which is a properly recognised spiritual gift for the Church (Eph 4:11; 1 Cor 12:28), but obviously operated within the clear confines of the 'edification' and 'instruction' role prescribed by scripture (1 Cor 14). However, for the avoidance of any doubt, the SDA Church confirms that the Bible alone is the standard by which all doctrinal teaching and experience must be tested: SDA Church
“18. The Gift of Prophecy:
One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen. G. White . As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. (Joel 2:28, 29; Acts 2:14-21; Heb. 1:1-3; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.)” (emphasis added)
does not officially teach that Ellen White’s writings were more important, override, or take precedence to the cannon of scripture. As noted by the South Pacific Division of the SDA Church : SDA Church
“Adventists do not believe Ellen G. White and her writings are as important as God and the Bible.
Seventh-day Adventists treasure the Bible as their only creed. They believe it is God’s message to humankind and it contains all that people need to know about God, salvation and the basic principles for human relationships.”
even admits: Roman Catholic Church
“…Adventists also subscribe to the two Protestant shibboleths, sola scriptura (the Bible is the sole rule of faith) and sola fide (justification is by faith alone).” (emphasis added)
Thus, no doubt some individual Adventists still view Ellen White and her writings in infallible and inerrant terms. No doubt, many ex-Adventist critics have been exposed to individual Adventists who have treated Ellen White as perfect or elevated her writings to something on par with scripture. However, it is very important to stress that this is not the stance taken by the original Adventist pioneers, or by the
today, or by the majority of Adventists. Most importantly, this is not the stance taken by Ellen White herself, who was very aware of her own human limitations and subordination to scripture within the confines of a New Testament spiritual gift of prophesy. SDA Church
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