Adventists, Ellen G. White & Hewlett Packard Part IV

November 01, 2005 | Jere Patzer

Part IV

In a remarkable report, the Barna Group, a nationally recognized polling/survey organization, recently declared Ellen White to be one of the most influential authors among a cross section of young pastors in the United States.*

Surveyed pastors under 40 years of age, listed her as one of the top authors that impacted them personally in the last three years. This is an amazing finding.

Realizing a golden opportunity, your conference presidents have voted to send a gift copy of The Desire of Ages to every pastor in the Northwest, noting this recognition and offering it as a Christmas gift.

As Adventists, it is easy for us to take her for granted. We know that we would not be the church we are today without her writings. Two churches trace their roots back to the 1844 Millerite movement—the Advent Christian Church and Seventh-day Adventists. Today the Advent Christian Church, without Ellen G. White’s counsel, has about 75,000 members in 19 countries. The Seventh-day Adventist Church has about 20 million members (including children) in 200 countries, with the guidance of Ellen G. White.

Her contributions to this phenomenal growth are too numerous to mention here, but some of them include:

Her "great controversy" theme, which gives practical answers to the questions many ask after catastrophes like Hurricanes Katrina and Rita as to where God was in all that devastation.

Her life-long emphasis on the Bible as the Word of God. At 82 years of age in her last public appearance before the world church, she returned to the pulpit where there was a Bible, and with hands outstretched and trembling with age, she said, “I commend unto you this book.”

Her wonderful insights into the life, ministry, crucifixion, and resurrection of Christ in books like The Desire of Ages. I am currently reading it again and realize that it doesn’t just talk about Jesus, it leads me to a closer walk with Him.

And fantastic insights that today we take for granted, but were in her day truly remarkable if not radical. These include topics from health to education, publishing to church organization, religious liberty to human rights.

The byproduct of all this is that in a survey of 8,200 Adventists, those who regularly read her writings scored considerably higher than non readers in areas such as a strong relationship with Jesus, assurance of salvation, daily personal Bible study, witnessing, and financial giving.

Within the church today, we see that her writings are used, misused, and unused in various ways by various individuals. Some say she was a good devotional writer, but her time has passed. These people tend to deny her authority today and ignore her prophetic messages for the future.

The Bible reminds us, however, to believe in the Lord your God, so shall you be established. Believe His prophets, so shall you prosper.

According to the Barna Group, pastors of all denominations are recognizing that promise through Ellen G. White. Again the words of the Hewlett Packard motto, “Do we know what we already know?”

I hope for the sake of a prosperous church made up of growing Christians, we can resoundingly affirm that with the writings of Ellen G. White, we do!