RanTom Thoughts/20060225 Ellen White on swine
This is for all my Adventist friends out there... Other people may not be interested in reading it, since it deals with Ellen White, which really has no meaning for people who never grew up in the Adventist church.
Selective quoting from 1T ch 38. For the entire text, see WhiteEstate.org or your local Adventist library. My commentary follows --Tometheus
Testimonies, vol 1, Ch 38 - Errors in Diet
- Dear Brother and Sister A: The Lord has seen fit in His goodness to give me a vision at this place; and among the different things shown were some relating to you. I saw that all was not right with you. The enemy has been seeking your destruction, and endeavoring to influence others through you. [...]
I saw that you had mistaken notions about afflicting your bodies, depriving yourselves of nourishing food. [...]
I was referred back to our experience in Rochester, New York. I saw that when we lived there we did not eat nourishing food as we should, and disease nearly carried us to the grave. I saw that as God gives His beloved sleep, He is willing to grant them suitable food to nourish the strength. [...]
Those who labor with their hands must nourish their strength to perform his labor, and those also who labor in word and doctrine must nourish their strength; for Satan and his evil angels are warring against them to tear down their strength. They should seek rest of body and mind from wearing labor when they can, and should eat of nourishing, strengthening food to build up their strength; for they will be obliged to exercise all the strength they have. I saw that it does not glorify God in the least for any of His people to make a time of trouble for themselves. There is a time of trouble just before God's people, and He will prepare them for that fearful conflict.
I saw that your views concerning swine's flesh would prove no injury if you have them to yourselves; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test, and your actions have plainly shown your faith in this matter. If God requires His people to abstain from swine's flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine's flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His church their duty.
Between the first and second edition, EGW had the health reform vision... this is James White's backpedaling in the 2nd edition:
- [THIS REMARKABLE TESTIMONY WAS WRITTEN OCTOBER 21, 1858, NEARLY FIVE YEARS BEFORE THE GREAT VISION OF 1863, IN WHICH THE LIGHT UPON HEALTH REFORM WAS GIVEN. WHEN THE RIGHT TIME CAME, THE SUBJECT WAS GIVEN IN A MANNER TO MOVE ALL OUR PEOPLE. HOW WONDERFUL ARE THE WISDOM AND GOODNESS OF GOD! IT MIGHT BE AS WRONG TO CROWD THE MILK, SALT, AND SUGAR QUESTION NOW, AS THE PORK QUESTION IN 1858.]
So basically, this direct vision from GOD said that telling other people to abstain from pork was Satanic.
That's a far cry from what she would say later:
- "Pork, although one of the most common articles of diet, is one of the most injurious. God did not prohibit the Jews from eating swine's flesh merely to show his authority, but because it is not a proper article of food for man. It fills the system with scrofula, and especially in that warm climate produces leprosy, and diseases of various kinds. Its influence upon the system in that climate is far more injurious than in a colder climate. But God never designed swine to be eaten under any circumstances."
- The Review and Herald, June 20, 1899, "Disease and Its Causes"
Apparently when 1T was written, God didn't know what he was going to show EGW 5 years into the future... Specifically calling this an "Error in Diet".
So, what is the test... that God will reveal the policy on swine to the entire church, not to two or three. So what changed the policy, creating the Adventist prohibition on pork? ONE person's vision! You may tell me "oh, but Ellen White was human, she makes mistakes", but remember, this is claimed to be a direct vision from God himself.
Talk about someone on a power trip. When someone else comes up with an idea, it's evil, but when she comes up with it later, it's DIVINE LAW.
While we're on the topic, PORK DOES NOT CARRY LEPROSY. (Other than humans, the only animals known to be susceptible to leprosy are the armadillo, mangabey monkeys, rabbits, and mice.)
As to crofula (Tuberculosis of the neck), why aren't cows also banned, since they carry tuberculosis as well? (Notice she doesn't mention trichinosis specifically, which is a valid reason to not eat pork.)
I also find this quote amusing:
- "Those who eat flesh are but eating grains and vegetables at second hand; for the animal receives from these things the nutrition that produces growth. The life that was in the grains and vegetables passes into the eater. We receive it by eating the flesh of the animal. How much better to get it direct, by eating the food that God provided for our use!"
- MH 313.1
Well, if we're going to say that, eating grains and vegetables is just eating dirt and water and sunlight secondhand. So why don't we eat dirt as God intended??
- "This command was given because swine's flesh is unfit for food. Swine are scavengers, and this is the only use they were intended to serve. Never, under any circumstances, was their flesh to be eaten by human beings. It is impossible for the flesh of any living creature to be wholesome when filth is its natural element and when it feeds upon every detestable thing."
- MH 313.3
But filth is the natural element of vegetables and grain. In fact, putting fecal material and decayed organic material on them helps them grow better. Just try growing grains and vegetables in a "pure" soil such as sterile sand and see how well it works.
*Tom breaks out in a round of singing "Carrot juice is murder"*
While we're talking about EGW, I'll just leave you with this helpful information about wigs quoted from here, since I can't find it in the White Estate's search engine.:
- Artificial hair and wigs heat and excite spinal nerves.
- Blood rushes to brain, causes unnatural activity, tends to recklessness in morals, heart/mind in danger of being corrupted.
- Moral/intellectual powers become servants of animal nature. Victim loses power to discern sacred things.
- May cause baldness, insanity, even premature death.
- The Health Reformer, October 1871
And talk about your great social reformists...
- The cities of the South are to be worked[...] Let white workers labor for the white people[...] Let colored laborers do what they can to keep abreast, working earnestly for their own people[...] The colored people should not urge that they be placed on an equality with white people.
- Testimonies Vol. 9, page 214
This is why many Adventist churches in the south (even where I grew up in Muskogee) are still segregated. "Let's preach the great message about not eating pork, but let's not help the plight of our fellow man."