October 19, 2012

The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White

The Great Controversy by Ellen G. White
The Great Controversy

THIS BOOK WAS WRITTEN BY: Ellen G. White, one of the founders of the Seventh-day Adventist Church. It has been revised several times since she originally wrote it in 1858, and it is available for free online through several websites and is being mailed out by a number of evangelical projects. While this website assures me that they used "publicly available resources" to get my mailing address, it's a little creepy how they were able to use the special nickname I share with only my closest friends ("RESIDENT").

WHAT IS IN THIS BOOK: Ms. White's plea to return to the scriptures. "Men have been unwearied in their efforts to obscure the plain, simple meaning of the Scriptures, and to make them contradict their own testimony"(p.29), so she is helpfully including excerpts from the scriptures in her book to remind you how to live. Ms. White has chosen to share this message because "many ministers are teaching their people, and many professors and teachers are instructing their students, that the law of God has been changed or abrogated; and those who regard its requirements as still valid, to be literally obeyed, are thought to be deserving only of ridicule or contempt"(p.312). It's important to remember that the bible is serious business as you follow its literal instructions to throw rocks at gay people and not wear wool and linen at the same time.

Ellen G. White was NOT a fan of popes, papists, or popery.
WHAT IS NOT IN THIS BOOK: Any patience for those who would listen to "the representative of Satan  — the bishop of Rome" (p.18). Do you know what caused the French revolution? "That terrible outbreaking was but the legitimate result of Rome's suppression of the scriptures"(p.138). In fact, "If we desire to understand the determined cruelty of Satan... we have only to look at the history of Romanism"(p.305).  And throughout history, "as the ravenous beast is rendered more furious by the taste of blood, so the rage of the papists was kindled to greater intensity by the sufferings of their victims" (p.33). Ms. White's intolerance may seem surprising, but that's because most people are only familiar with the first part of Jesus' quote, "Love thy neighbor, unless he's Catholic, in which case the best you can do is hope that he converts to something less offensive, like Islam, maybe."

WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO A PHOENICIAN? Not unless I wanted to start a riot. Ms. White says some pretty hurtful things about them:

"The god of many professedly wise men, of philosophers, poets, politicians, journalists — the god of polished fashionable circles, of many colleges and universities, even of some theological institutions — is little better than Baal, the sun-god of Phoenicia" (p.312)

That's right, Baal-worshipers, she said journalists. Can you really just sit there passively when she's comparing you unfavorably to Wolf Blitzer?

Rites of Baal: Fair and Balanced?WOULD YOU RECOMMEND THIS BOOK TO FRED CLARK OF SLACKTIVIST? No way. Not only does he already know about it, but he'd probably be a million times better at mocking it. Have you seen  what he did to the Left Behind series?

WHAT WAS INTERESTING ABOUT THIS BOOK? Ellen White's bleak vision of what life would be like without Adventists around to show us what it means to heed the word of the Lord:
"Property would no longer be safe. Men would obtain their neighbor's possessions by violence, and the strongest would become richest. Life itself would not be respected. The marriage vow would no longer stand as a sacred bulwark to protect the family. He who had the power, would, if he desired, take his neighbor's wife by violence. The fifth commandment would be set aside with the fourth. Children would not shrink from taking the life of their parents if by so doing they could obtain the desire of their corrupt hearts. The civilized world would become a horde of robbers and assassins; and peace, rest, and happiness would be banished from the earth." (p.313)

It's chilling to imagine what the world would be like without them leading by example.

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