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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

Discern Fact from Fiction

Initial Points

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#1: "The quotes of Ellen G. White which appear in this program are taken from official Seventh-day Adventist publications. Page numbers are in reference to standard hardback editions."—Text appearing immediately before the program begins.

#1: These are official quotes of Mrs. White. The truth is that some quotes do not exist at all, some are by someone else, and some have been altered.

For example, David Snyder states that Mrs. White in her own words said that she was in "this hopeless condition for months" after Christ did not come when expected. Yet no such quotation can be found anywhere (see #10). Later, Dale Ratzlaff claims that the preface of an 1851 reprint "stated that no changes were made in idea or sentiment." Yet it said no such thing. Instead it stated, "I shall therefore leave out a portion" (see #52).

Regarding quotations really written by someone else, by folk who weren't even Adventists, it's just a simple fact that Mrs. White:

  1. didn't give that list of diseases (#118);
  2. didn't say kids would get green skin (#119);
  3. didn't say, "Sip no more . . ." (#122); and
  4. didn't say not to sleep on feather beds (#124).

The quote under #118, besides being written by someone else, was altered as well. It represents the words and thoughts of two different people fused into a single statement. There really is no way for the viewer to know this, for quotation marks and words were deleted without using an ellipsis, and words were added without the use of brackets.

But that one wasn't as serious as the one under #142. There we have a fusion into one of two different quotes from two different journals from two different continents written seven years apart. Fill in three ellipses, and the selection gives a totally different impression than the one the video gives.

Then we have the one under #37 where a sentence appearing six sentences before the rest of the quote is put at the end of the quote, and the intervening five sentences are deleted. The deleted sentences actually neutralize the point being made by the video.

Whether this video teaches one much about Adventism is debatable, but it does teach quite well a very important lesson: Don't take anyone's word for it. Read it for yourself.

A Response to the Video

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