Ellen G. White and Her Critics


The Second Distinguishing Mark

That brings us directly to the second of the two distinguishing marks that set the Advent movement apart as nothing else could: The belief that God gave to this movement, in harmony with the forecast of prophecy, a manifestation of the prophetic gift in the person and writings of Mrs. E. G. White. We believe not only that our feet stand on the solid rock of the Scriptures but also that God gave to us a special guide to help us to keep our feet on the solid path and moving straight forward to the kingdom. That God should have given to us such audible, personal aid, is to us a manifestation of His gracious care. Indeed, we view it as a direct fulfillment of the apostle John’s prediction that the “remnant” elect of God, traveling the last treacherous miles of time, would have in their midst the gift of “the spirit of prophecy.” (See Revelation 12:17 and 19:10. See also Appendix B, p. 543.) EGWC 22.4

No one can read the history of this Advent people without being repeatedly and forcefully impressed with the fact that it has ever been the counsels of Mrs. White, as she spoke by inspiration, that have guided and steadied the movement. It was her voice more than all others that built morale and courage into the souls of that poverty-stricken group of Sabbathkeepers a century ago. It was her voice in vigorous tones of rebuke that silenced fanatics. It was her voice that ever called the Advent believers on to more diligent Bible study, to holier living, reproving and reviving them when they failed. It was her voice that could ever be heard more clearly than that of any other leader, calling for evangelism, and challenging the movement on to world missions. And it was her voice, often heard alone, that called insistently and persuasively for schools, publishing houses, and a unique kind of medical institutions with which to carry on a Heaven-appointed task. EGWC 23.1

This is not rhetoric, it is demonstrable fact. The thousands of pages of Mrs. White’s writings clearly establish how great a part she played in creating the policies and directing the course of the Advent movement. EGWC 23.2

After one hundred years the different Adventist bodies—other than Seventh-day Adventists—that stemmed from the Millerite movement of the early 1840’s total less than 50,000 members, which is no more than the total of Advent believers in 1844. Not long ago we enjoyed a delightful fellowship of a few days with an aged, saintly leader in one of these Adventist bodies. He spoke of the expansion of Seventh-day Adventists, their schools, publishing houses, medical institutions, and then he added: “Your men were more farsighted than ours and laid better plans.” We replied: “No, our men were no wiser than yours, but we had a frail handmaiden of the Lord in our midst who declared that by visions from God she saw what we should do and how we should plan for the future.” No other explanation could, in truth, have been offered for the vitality, distinctiveness, and foresight revealed in connection with the growth of the Seventh-day Adventist movement over the world. EGWC 23.3