Ellen G. White and Her Critics


How the Break With the Churches Began

The Adventists (Millerites) in the early 1840’s did not set out to establish a new church. The ministers of the movement were from numerous churches. For a time these ministers were invited to fill many pulpits. But soon something most disturbing developed. Those who took hold of the truth that Christ would soon come in glory, majesty, and might, found new spiritual life stirring within them. “Every man that hath this hope in him [the hope of Christ’s personal coming] purifieth himself, even as he [Christ] is pure.” I John 3:3. Thus testified the apostle John. These Adventist believers became too fervent for their rather staid churches. They were made to feel distinctly uncomfortable. Ministers in various churches began to preach with increasing vigor and volume against this disturbing Adventist movement. It was too potent a leaven in the lump of Christendom. EGWC 298.1

And let it be kept clearly in mind, the essence of that anti-Adventist preaching was not a challenging of the time element of Adventist preaching but a challenging of the Adventist belief as to what event impended. As we look back on it now we can clearly see that the Adventist preaching was a presentation of a sudden supernatural solution of the world’s woes; the popular preaching, a presentation of a naturalistic, slow-development solution of its ills. EGWC 298.2

The most libelous, scurrilous attacks began to be made upon Adventist preachers and lecturers, and most vindictive were the ministers of leading churches. All this is clear from the record. It was churchmen who gave widest circulation to wild stories that the Adventists were planning silly ascension robes for the day of the expected advent, and that their preaching was filling the asylums with men and women made mad with the Adventist doctrine. The attacks were so outrageous that the editor of the infidel paper the Investigator took the popular ministry to task for their libelous assaults on the Adventist preachers. EGWC 298.3