Catholics UnderStanding of Ellen G. White


#1

I would like to get Catholics Persective on why they do not think that Mrs. Ellen G. White is not a Prophetess?

And as I know there is some controversy surronding Mrs. White, please keep any discussion as acadimic as possible.


#2

To begin with, why would anybody expect that the Catholic Church would consider her a prophet(ess)?

I mean, your question seems to me like asking why Americans don’t consider Jerry Lewis to be the president of the USA. Why would they?


#3

Why don’t we consider her a prophetess? First and foremost, because the age of God’s general revelation is over.

God’s general revelation to humanity ended with the first generation of Christians. No new revelations can be added to those of Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. Mind you, God might still reveal things to individuals (private revelations) but those aren’t binding upon anyone else. God has finished giving the human race revelations which must be believed (general revelations). No new ones will ever come. This is why even alleged major “Catholic apparitions” like Fatima can never be made required belief for Catholics — even if a new alleged vision or miracle or prophecy is declared worthy of belief, it never can be made required belief, because nothing new can be added to God’s general revelation.

My understanding of Ms White is that she claims to have received a revelation which must be believed by all the faithful. That assertion alone shows her “revelation” to be false, regardless of its other content.


#4

Hi Toten and welcome to the forums -

The Catholic Church takes it’s teachings from two places - Apostolic Tradition and the Bible which are both considered the Word of God.

Mrs. White began her own religion, the Adventists, in the 19th century. Most of what she taught her followers denies many of the teachings of the Church and as such, deny the teachings and Traditions of the Apostles. Indeed the teachings of the Seventh Day Adventists treat the Catholic Church as the antichrist and harlot of Babylon, both references of the Book of Revelation.

The Apostles are the only people commissioned by Christ to carry His Word. The Apostles then commissioned people, called Bishops (Episcope) to carry on that teaching.
Mrs. White has no such commission.

I am curious Toten - what is your purpose in coming to the CA forums?

Subrosa


#5

Why is General Revelation over.

God’s general revelation to humanity ended with the first generation of Christians. No new revelations can be added to those of Scripture and Apostolic Tradition. Mind you, God might still reveal things to individuals (private revelations) but those aren’t binding upon anyone else. God has finished giving the human race revelations which must be believed (general revelations). No new ones will ever come. This is why even alleged major “Catholic apparitions” like Fatima can never be made required belief for Catholics — even if a new alleged vision or miracle or prophecy is declared worthy of belief, it never can be made required belief, because nothing new can be added to God’s general revelation.

My understanding of Ms White is that she claims to have received a revelation which must be believed by all the faithful. That assertion alone shows her “revelation” to be false, regardless of its other content.

But, isn’t one of the spiritual gifts of the bible prophecy though?

Hi, Subrosa. My purpose in coming to CA forums is this: I am looking at theology. I am trying to collect the Catholic side of the argument on any given subject and see how it stands up to opposing (weather Protestant, Eastern Orthadox or other) arguments and vise virsa. It is the only way I know of figureing out something (fair trial, both sides of the story). I just figured I would like to get the Catholic side of the things from Catholics and not something as questionable as Loraine Boettners book on your faith.


#6

Toten,

In Jewish and Catholic (that’s the Original Christian) tradition and belief a prophet or prophetess must NOT claim to be the SOLE speaker for God.

What is revealed by that prophet must be in line with God’s teachings (via the Torah) and His revelation (via His Son, Jesus). Anything else is hooey.

Thus, anyone who claims to be a prophet would be judged on what he or she states: follow me, I know what is right. Or, everyone else is wrong, I know what God wants and He wants you to listen to only me.

Joseph Smith and Ellen G White and Charles Taze Russell and Jim Jones and David Koresh and the Millerites and Campbellites and Donatists and Arians and Rev Moon and thousands of others who have started their own SECT of believers who hold that everyone else is wrong or in apostasy because their prophet said so.

Thus, you have people who think only 144,000 people will make it to heaven (JWs), or unless you’re a Mormon you will not get your own planet and be your own god, or no eating pork and shellfish, and no worship on Sunday or you will go to hell (SDA), or give your women and daughters to me in Holy union or you will go to hell (Koresh and Mormonism’s splintered sects).

These are the fruits of false prophets.

In the original Christian beliefs, taught by the Catholic Church from its beginnings out of the Jewish faith and given its mission and authority by Jesus through St Peter and the Apostles, there is NO further revelation from God that mankind must know in order to attain salvation and work within the Body of Christ (the Church) to build the Kingdom of God on earth.

I hope this helps

Pax Christi


#7

and

But, isn’t one of the spiritual gifts of the bible prophecy though?

In Catholic theology, as well as all othe Apostiloc Churches such as Orthodox, Armenian, Coptic, etc., general revelation ended with the last Apostle. All teachings come from these men whom Jesus appointed His ministers.

God can, of course, give the gift of prophecy to whom He chooses.

Throughout christian history there are those who have claimed to possess such prophesy. But Jesus gives us a measuring stick. In the Gospel of Matthew chapter 7 we find these passages:

15
"Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but underneath are ravenous wolves.
16
By their fruits you will know them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles?
17
Just so, every good tree bears good fruit, and a rotten tree bears bad fruit.
18
A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a rotten tree bear good fruit.
19
Every tree that does not bear good fruit will be cut down and thrown into the fire.
20
So by their fruits you will know them."

So by this measuring we can locate false prophets, as well as real ones.

When it comes to Ellen White we can look at her history and try to find fruits. What we find are failed prophecies of Christ’s return, denunciations of other religions besides her own, a consistant disregard and purposefully false teaching of Catholic doctrine in order to forward her own beliefs.

We find that the SDA’s, as well as many other christian religions support thier belief system by first denouncing the Catholic Church and it’s teachings.

In the Catholic Church I have never heard such denunciations. We are taught to respect those who say they believe. This is a following of Christ’s command that “we love one another.”

The Catholic Church has had the same consistant teachings since the beginning of christianity - that of the Apostles. The fruits of the Catholic Church are this - love, respect, charity, hope, compassion.

If you follow what the Catholic Church teaches they will be your fruits also.

Subrosa


#8

As a Catholic I do not consider Ellen G. White a Prophetess for the following reasons.

  1. Much of her work has been shown to be plagarized - she did not give credit to the authors whose work she used.
  2. I have read her works - There are some very obvious historical inaccuracies in her writings. Specifically the Great Controversy which outlines the major beliefs of the SDA faith. Example look up Chapter 4 on the Waldenses and see what she has to say - then look up the Waldenses and get their real history.
  3. She established rules for the SDA faith that she herself did not follow - specifically documented you may find she did not strictly adhere to vegetarianism.
  4. Her theology changes with time. She adheres to the Millerite theory and when that fails then proceeds to redefine the event. At one time she did not believe in the Trinity and then later she endorses the Trinity.
  5. In her writing she claims to have visions in which she is told things by Jesus but the words she uses in the visions are plagarized from other authors.
  6. Her prophecies have failed. For example, she told the general conference that many of them including herself would be alive at the second coming of Christ. Didn’t happen.
  7. In her writings she tells outright lies about the Catholic Church - examples include saying the Church had eliminated the second commandment and worship idols. She totally misrespresents the doctrine of Papal Infallibility and misconstrues it to mean that the pope can never make an error - this is not the case.
  8. In her writings she misquotes the bible and takes verses out of context to support SDA beliefs. Look at the list of SDA beliefs and then look at the verses used to support the belief. They don’t support the beliefs but furthermore are taken out of context of the bible.
  9. Follow any of the prophets in the Bible. Compare them to EGW, I simply do not think she makes the grade.

#9

An SDA friend of mine has told me that Ellen White never called herself a prophetess. This was a title bestowed upon her later to help propogate her writings as the basis of the SDA beliefs. In many conversations with my friend, it is evident that there are many current SDA believers that use Ellen White’s writings as inspirational and not inspired. They are more Bible-centered.


#10

Ellen White speaks longlingly of the time when Protestants: “taught their children to abhor popery and held that to seek harmony with Rome would be disloyalty to God.” (GC 563)

I don’t abhor “popery.” I believe “popery.”

"But Romanism as a system is no more in harmony with the gospel of Christ now than at any former period in her history… The Roman Church is far-reaching in her plans and modes of operation. She is employing every device to extend her influence and increase her power in preparation for a fierce and determined conflict to regain control of the world, to re-establish persecution… (GC 565-566)

Ah, so this is her “prophecy”; a warning to the world against my corrupt and oppressive religion. No thanks. She would be a prophet to me if I actually BELIEVED what she said. I, on the other hand, am a Catholic.


#11

I hope you’re giving equal time to prayer - if not more! :slight_smile: Of course it’s very helpful to know the beliefs and practices of the various Churches, denominations, religions, etc., etc. in trying to determine the direction of one’s spiritual life, but in entering into a relationship with God far more is needed than the approach one would take in trying to determine to which bank one should entrust one’s money.


#12

Isn’t it more proper to give reasons why she is a prophetess? Does one really have to give reasons why any given person is not a prophet? Prophets have to prove themselves, not the other way round.

I see no reason to think that White was a prophet except that she said she was and a significant number of people believe it. And that isn’t really enough to make me take her claims seriously. Her followers are still a small minority among Christians as a whole, and what I know of them does not dispose me to the belief that they have some qualitatively superior insight into the Christian faith. I do like the emphasis on psychosomatic unity in SDA-ism. But their eschatological doctrines and many other points of belief show no signs of prophetic inspiration and many signs of being a typical product of 19th-century primitivist millenialism.

Edwin


#13

Hi Toten and welcome to the forums -

In catholic tradition prophets and prophetesses are given the message but it is for the teaching magisterium to interpret it.

Prophets do not interpret, they merely report what they believe they have witnessed. It is for the Doctors of the Church to decide their meanings.

If the work of Ellen White is subjected to this level of scrutiny and it stands up, then I for one would be willing to take it seriously. But that is unlikely as its adherents would not accept a catholic inquisition and interpretation of its semanics


#14

Hi Toten and welcome to the forums -

In catholic tradition prophets and prophetesses are given the message but it is for the magisterium to interpret it.

Prophets do not interpret, they merely report what they believe they have witnessed. It is for the Doctors of the Church to decide their meanings.

If the work of Ellen White is subjected to this level of scrutiny and it stands up, then I for one would be willing to take it seriously. But that is unlikely as its adherents would not accept a catholic inquisition of their absolute belief in their alleged prophetess.


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