14 November 2015

The Great Controversy: Ben Carson, Ellen G. White, and Seventh-day Adventism

Ben Carson has famously said that a Muslim who wishes to become president of the United States must "reject the tenets of Islam."

But what about members of his own church -- The Seventh-day Adventist church? Must they reject its doctrines in order to become president?

The SDA church was co-founded by Ellen G. White, who was its original leader and prophet. She is to Adventists what Mary Baker Eddy, Joseph Smith, and Muhammad are to Christian Scientists, Mormons, and Muslims, respectively (not respectfully). And her book, The Great Controversy, corresponds to Science and Health, the Book of Mormon, and the Quran. And it fully deserves to be among them, as one of the the worst books ever written.

I wish I had time to do a Skeptic's Annotated Great Controversy. But I don't. So I'll have to be satisfied with a short summary.

Fortunately, it's an easy book to summarize, even though it is nearly 700 pages long.

It turns out that it's mostly about Saturday.

Here's the story.
[The first half of the book is an anti-Catholic "history" of Christianity. The rest is supposed prophecy (beginning with #3 below).]

  1. The evil Catholic Church changed the Sabbath from Saturday (the seventh day) to Sunday.
    The papacy has attempted to change the law of God ... to authorize the observance of the first instead of the seventh day as the Sabbath. ... Here the papal power openly sets itself above God. p. 446
  2. The Protestants went along with the change (and thereby became apostates).
    When the world and the Protestant churches accept a sabbath of her creating, while they reject the Bible Sabbath, they ... bring the whole Protestant world under the banner of Rome. p. 448
  3. The United States (the beast of Revelation with lamb-like horns) will begin to enforce the Sunday Sabbath and make everyone receive the mark of the beast on their hand and forehead.
    The United States is the power represented by the beast with lamblike horns, and that this prophecy will be fulfilled when the United States shall enforce Sunday observance, which Rome claims as the special acknowledgment of her supremacy. p. 579
  4. Those who observe the Sabbath on Saturday will be persecuted and put to death.
    As the Sabbath has become the special point of controversy throughout Christendom, and religious and secular authorities have combined to enforce the observance of the Sunday. ... It will be urged that the few who stand in opposition to an institution of the church and a law of the state ought not to be tolerated ... and a decree will finally be issued against those who hallow the Sabbath of the fourth commandment, denouncing them as deserving of the severest punishment ... to put them to death. Romanism in the Old World and apostate Protestantism in the New will pursue a similar course toward those who honor all the divine precepts. p. 615-616
  5. But before evil Catholics, apostate Protestants, and the United States can kill all of the Seventh-day Adventists, Jesus will return, raise the dead, slaughter everyone who doesn't observe the Saturday Sabbath, and take the SDAers to the City of God.
    Jesus rides forth as a mighty conqueror. p. 641

    All come forth from their graves the same in stature as when they entered the tomb. p. 644

    At the coming of Christ the wicked are blotted from the face of the whole earth--consumed with the spirit of His mouth and destroyed by the brightness of His glory. Christ takes His people to the City of God, and the earth is emptied of its inhabitants. p. 657

  6. The only one to remain is Satan, who will walk to and fro on the desolate earth for 1000 years.
    For a thousand years, Satan will wander to and fro in the desolate earth.... p. 660
  7. After Satan's thousand-year walk, Jesus will return again to the earth and raise the billions of wicked dead people that he killed 1000 years before (in #5).
    At the close of the thousand years, Christ again returns to the earth. ... He bids the wicked dead arise to receive their doom. They come forth, a mighty host, numberless as the sands of the sea. What a contrast to those who were raised at the first resurrection! The righteous were clothed with immortal youth and beauty. The wicked bear the traces of disease and death. p. 662
  8. Satan will try to rally the living dead to attack the City of God.
    Now Satan prepares for a last mighty struggle for the supremacy. ... As the wicked dead are raised and he sees the vast multitudes upon his side, his hopes revive, and he determines not to yield the great controversy. ... He proposes to lead them against the camp of the saints and to take possession of the City of God. With fiendish exultation he points to the unnumbered millions who have been raised from the dead and declares that as their leader he is well able to overthrow the city and regain his throne and his kingdom. ... With military precision the serried ranks advance over the earth's broken and uneven surface to the City of God. p. 663-664
  9. But when Jesus appears, the ugly dead people chicken out.
    Now Christ again appears to the view of His enemies. p. 665

    The time has come for a last desperate struggle against the King of heaven. He rushes into the midst of his subjects and endeavors to inspire them with his own fury and arouse them to instant battle. But of all the countless millions whom he has allured into rebellion, there are none now to acknowledge his supremacy. His power is at an end. The wicked are filled with the same hatred of God that inspires Satan; but they see that their case is hopeless, that they cannot prevail against Jehovah. Their rage is kindled against Satan and those who have been his agents in deception, and with the fury of demons they turn upon them. p. 671-672

  10. God will then burn the living dead. Some will die quickly; others will suffer for many days.
    Fire comes down from God out of heaven. The earth is broken up. The weapons concealed in its depths are drawn forth. Devouring flames burst from every yawning chasm. The very rocks are on fire. ... Some are destroyed as in a moment, while others suffer many days. p. 663-664
  11. After the last resurrected dead person is finally dead, the Seventh-day Adventists live happily forever in the City of God, where no one sleeps and there is neither night nor need for candles.
    While the earth was wrapped in the fire of destruction, the righteous abode safely in the Holy City. ... In the City of God "there shall be no night." None will need or desire repose. ... "And they need no candle." p. 663-994
Okay. So that's it. That's what Seventh-day Adventists believe (along with some dietary restrictions).

Ben Carson believes it as well, or at least he claimed to in an April 5, 2013 interview with the Seventh-day Adventist Church. [For some reason, the interview was removed from the official SDA website, but it's still available (via the wayback machine) here.]

Here's what he said during the interview:

Adventist News Network: Are there ever any times when you feel it’s best to distinguish yourself from the Seventh-day Adventist Church and what it teaches?

Carson: No, I don’t.

In another interview (see the below video), Dr. Carson said,

I don't know what role the Lord has for me in all this. I do know, in looking at prophecy, that the United States will play a big role; that there has to be a return first to a religious awakening; and, more than likely, any persecution, particularly of the Sabbath, will come from the right, not from the left."

Someone should ask Dr. Carson if he believes in Ellen White's prophecy in The Great Controversy with regard to the "big role" that the United States will play. Specifically, is the United States the two-horned beast that speaks like a lion of Revelation 13:11?

If so, he should renounce that belief (along with the rest of White's "prophecy") before anyone should consider voting for him for president.


Yark Hutprancer said...

Oh, religious people. Thou art so silly.

Ohhellno said...

I was raised a SDA and as I grew into adolescence and my brain, such as it is, began to develop, I began to question the dogma into which I was being indoctrinated. Result? Atheism, in the sense that it became obvious to me that the OT god could not possibly be the creator of the universe. As just one 'for instance', how could the being who supposedly created the DNA molecule, black holes and spinning galaxies be the same being who couldn't even make a proper human male penis, thus requiring a bloody and painful postpartum modification which, in biblical times, didn't include anesthesia, couldn't cure leprosy and never even thought to invent toilet paper?
As for E.G. White, she is a third grade educated, proven serial plegerist with a latent concussion and is regarded by many, but not all, SDA members as having the final word in their interpretation of the bible, aka, "The Book the Catholic Church Edited and Assembled". Rejection of either one or both of these two facts, in my mind, are a litmus test of one's ability to reason clearly.
What Ben Carson thinks of EGW I have no idea, but the fact that he is a SDA makes me suspicious, since SDAs test positive for four out of five conditions for being a cult; EGW being their cult leader and final authority on all things SDA.
Ben Carson, having failed this litmus test, has demonstrated that dispite a proven talent for brain surgery, in other subjects, he is no rocket scientist. Personally, I would prefer a more well rounded intellect in the White House. If any of you know of such a person, do your country a favor and please start a write-in campaign.

Kathy Heyne said...

Wow! SDAs believe in zombies!