Pickle Publishing "Absolute Authority Figure" Research Papers

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A Response to the Video:
Seventh-day Adventism, the Spirit Behind the Church

by Bob Pickle

Answers to Questions Raised by:
Mark Martin, Sydney Cleveland
Dale Ratzlaff, The White Lie
. . . and
Others

Discern Fact from Fiction


The Role of Mrs. White and Her Writings

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#21: "Because she claimed to have the spirit of prophecy, she came to be the visible, absolute authority figure for the initially small group of Adventist believers."—David Snyder.

#21: Mrs. White became the absolute authority figure. Sad to say, for the last 157 years, what she has written and said has often not been followed. Anyone acquainted with her writings would agree, and toward the end of the video this is even admitted by Sydney Cleveland (see #231). It is also admitted in Walter Rea's The White Lie, which is one of the primary exhibits used in this video against Mrs. White (see #196).

Was the situation different in the early days? Was she the authority figure back then? Actually, they were a bit overcautious on the matter. Consider what her husband James published in the Review and Herald of October 16, 1855:

What has the REVIEW to do with Mrs. W.'s views [visions]? The sentiments published in its columns are all drawn from the Holy Scriptures. No writer of the REVIEW has ever referred to them as authority on any point. The REVIEW for five years has not published one of them.—p. 61.

The Review and Herald began being published in November 1850. Therefore, James White is saying that since the beginning of this paper, his wife's visions have not been printed in it. The only exception was in the Extra of July 21, 1851, when material from visions was printed that included a warning against setting dates for the second coming.

While the extreme policy of not printing any of Mrs. White's visions was later discontinued, it is interesting to consider the comments that followed the above quote from James. What he expresses below has not changed one bit.

Its motto has been, "The Bible, and the Bible alone, the only rule of faith and duty." Then why should these men charge the REVIEW with being a supporter of Mrs. W.'s views?

Again, How has the Editor of the REVIEW regarded Visions, and the gifts of the Gospel Church for more than eight years past? His uniform statements in print on this subject will satisfactorily answer this question. The following is from a Tract he published in 1847:

"The Bible is a perfect and complete revelation. It is our only rule of faith and practice. But this is no reason why God may not show the past, present, and future fulfillment of his word, in these last days, by dreams and visions, according to Peter's testimony. True visions are given to lead us to God, and to his written word; but those that are given for a new rule of faith and practice, separate from the Bible, cannot be from God, and should be rejected."

Again, four years since, he wrote on the Gifts of the Gospel Church, re-published in the REVIEW for Oct. 3d, 1854, from which is taken the following:

"Every Christian is therefore in duty bound to take the Bible as a perfect rule of faith and duty. He should pray fervently to be aided by the Holy Spirit in searching the Scriptures for the whole truth, and for his whole duty. He is not at liberty to turn from them to learn his duty through any of the gifts. We say that the very moment he does, he places the gifts in a wrong place, and takes an extremely dangerous position."

Now if these paragraphs were not in print, his enemies might accuse him of changing his position; but as one was printed eight years since, and the other four, and re-printed one year since, they are nails driven in right places. Slanderous reports must fall powerless before facts of this character.

To the above we add one additional paragraph where James White describes precisely what this video is doing:

But what deserves especial attention here, is the unrighteous use some are making of the Visions. They take the advantage of the common prejudices against Visions, misrepresent them, and those who are not ready to join them in anathematizing them as the work of Satan, then brand any view held by the body of Sabbath-keepers as the "Vision view," and not the Bible view of the subject. In this way an [p. 29] unhallowed prejudice can be excited in the minds of some against any view, and even all the views held by that body of Christians called Advent Sabbath-keepers. This course has been, and is being pursued on the subjects of the Two-horned beast, Sanctuary, Time to commence the Sabbath and period of the establishment of the kingdom of God on the earth. It should be here understood that all these views as held by the body of Sabbath-keepers, were brought out from the Scriptures before Mrs. W. had any view in regard to them. These sentiments are founded upon the Scriptures as their only basis.

Solomon was right. There is nothing new "under the sun" (Eccl. 1:9).

A Response to the Video

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