On Ellen White: The Gospel Adventist Position

When dealing with the writings of Ellen White it is wise to give her the benefit of the doubt unless there is clear biblical evidence to suggest otherwise. Calling her a plagiarist, a hypocrite, or con-artist is an ad hominem attack on her character that says little about the truth of what she wrote.

By taking a snippet of writing from here and there without full context and balancing statements it is easy to misunderstand what she wrote over the span of 80 years. She never claimed to be a prophetess nor did she ever claim to be infallible.

There were times when she spoke her own opinions, but her overall message was inspired by the Holy Spirit. Her writing was edited over a period of time as her views changed, but the main ideas–the soon return of Christ, the Sabbath, the State of the Dead, the Heavenly Sanctuary, the Health Message, and the insights into the great controversy have withstood the biblical test of accuracy and the historical test of time.

Was Ellen White perfect? No, and we should not expect her to be without fault. Was she the infallible interpreter of scripture? No, and not one of us is able to claim that status. Did she live up to her own standards 100 percent of the time? No, but she admitted her faults and kept trying to improve on her lifestyle.

Instead of attacking the character of Ellen White, it is enough to argue that what she said was biblical or not. If it is not biblical then it is safe to disregard, but be careful not to throw her entire ministry out of the window over a few minor details. Her overall message was one of God’s love for man by sending Jesus to die for our sins.

Don’t throw the Baby out with the Bathwater.

Stephen Beagles (2021)


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