Devoted to the Propagation and Defense of New Testament Christianity
December 8, 1955

"Why Bring Up Mrs. White?"

Connie W. Adams, Decatur, Georgia

Seventh-Day Adventists seem rather eager to carry on written correspondence with any who will take the time to answer them. One began to correspond with this writer as a result of a radio sermon he heard the writer present on an Atlanta radio station. We have been corresponding for several months. Naturally, he wanted to get into a discussion of the sabbath immediately. He has sent several lengthy treatises on subjects related to the sabbath and other points of Adventism. All went well until the question of Mrs. White was introduced. You can guess who brought her into the discussion. (It wasn't the Adventist.) He became rather frustrated at the mention of Mrs. White and replied thusly: "Nothing need have been said about Mrs. White. In fact I would not have mentioned her, certainly unless you had been converted on the other Bible subjects (emphasis mine, C.W.A.) that we have discussed." It is interesting to see just why Adventists do not want to talk about Mrs. White.

Our basic difference with Adventists is not the sabbath or the covenants but the completeness of revelation. We believe that the Bible is a complete revelation from God. Paul said the scriptures were designed to make "the man of God complete." (II Tim. 3:16, 17.) James referred to the word of God as "the perfect (complete) law of liberty." (James 1:25.) When John laid down his pen on lonely Patmos Isle inspiration ceased, revelation was then complete. But what does that have to do with Mrs. White? Just this: Mrs. White claimed to be a prophet of God. She claimed inspiration. Hear her: "In ancient times God spoke to men by the mouth of prophets and apostles. In these days he 'speaks to them by the Testimonies of his spirit." (Page 189 of Testimonies No. 33.) The Testimonies are the supposed revelations Mrs. White received. She also stated: "If you lessen the confidence of God's people in the testimonies He has sent them, you are rebelling against God as certainly as were Kora, Dathan and Abiram." (Page 62 of Testimony No. 31.) "It is God, and not an erring mortal, that has spoken." (Page 257, Testimonies Vol. III.) The basic structure of Adventism rests upon Mrs. White's so-called revelations. If they reject them, they have, in her language, "rebelled against God." This obligates Adventists to either defend her revelations or reject the whole system of Adventism.

They manifest great interest in exactly what the Bible says. Many people are impressed with the great array of scriptures they produce when talking about various subjects. But why rely upon the Bible for proof of anything unless it is final and complete? Adventists say one time that the Bible is complete and later attempt to prove matters by quoting from the Testimonies. In the Seventh-Day Adventist Church Manual published in 1951, fundamental belief number one is given as follows: "That the Holy Scriptures of the Old and New Testament were given by inspiration of God, contain an all-sufficient revelation of His will to men, and are the only unerring rule of faith and practice." Yet in fundamental belief number nineteen they say that Mrs. White had the gift of prophecy from God. Now if the scriptures are an "all-sufficient rule," what can Mrs. White's prophecies do that the scriptures cannot do?

Evidence of the great dependence that Adventists put upon Mrs. White's revelations is seen clearly in their manual. Every chapter but one (and it is a short one) either refers to Mrs. White or quotes extensively from her Testimonies. Some chapters are made up entirely of quotations from her. If they regard the scriptures as complete, then why such reliance upon Mrs. White? They cannot say that the scriptures are all-sufficient and still say that Mrs. White's revelations are true. They must reject one or the other. If they say the Bible is complete and mean it, then they must reject Mrs. White's revelations. If they do that, they must surrender Adventism, for it rests upon those revelations. If, on the other hand, they choose to defend Mrs. White's claims, they must deny the completeness of revelation. They do not want either horn and yet, reason demands that they abandon one of them and accept the other. They cannot peacefully co-exist.

It is no great marvel that the man asked, "Why bring up Mrs. White?" He said, "I would not have mentioned her." Why, of course not! It doesn't take a Solomon to understand why. This is not intended to question the motives of all Adventist people. Surely there are honest people among them. Our charge is not against these sincere, honest people, but it is launched against the men who have been thoroughly indoctrinated and have full knowledge of the claims of Mrs. White. These are the men who claim to love the Bible, who say that it is sufficient; but who know all the time that Mrs. White's skeleton is in their closets. What will they do with her? They will try to conceal her until they convert honest people to their heresy on the sabbath, get them into the Adventist Church, and then gently break the news about Mrs. White and her revelations. Why bring up Mrs. White, indeed!