Comment on Summary of 60th General Conference Session (2015) by Jody Johnson.
Hey Educate Truth. Why half truths in this video? Here is a stament from White Estate on the Ordination Certificates. For a true Educate Truth, you need to tell the whole story! Is the video a pro-WO push?? Also, you left out in your list that the president of GYC, the largest youth (millenials) group in the Adventist Church spoke against WO. Among these will be a number of our future church leaders. The method of Bible interpretation is the debate behind the WO debate; left out of your video. I’m disappointed in the video.
Question: Hope you are well today. Have a good Sabbath. A man named ___________ published a credentials paper over the Adventist Discussion group, purportedly showing that EGW was an ordained minister. It is not terribly legible, but it does look that way. He said to contact you, who had done work to show that EGW was not ordained, which is what I always thought. Do you know anything about this form? Thanks. God bless.
Answer: Yes, I know something about Mrs. White’s ministerial credentials. Beginning in 1871 the church issued Mrs. White the credentials of an ordained minister. Was she therefore ordained? No. How do we know? From two lines of evidence, one coming from some of the credentials themselves and the other from Mrs. White herself.
On at least one of the credentials we have for her, the word “ordained” has been carefully struck out, while on others it has not. The difference does not indicate a change of status. The word “ordained” stands unstruck on her credentials from 1883 and 1887, but it is struck out on her 1885 credentials.
In 1909 Mrs. White filled out a General Conference “Biographical Information Blank” in her own handwriting. Item 19 asks, “If ordained, state when, where, and by whom.” On the blank Mrs. White simply inscribed an X. She did the same for Item 26, which asks, “if remarried, give date, and to whom.” Just as the X for the latter question indicated that she had never remarried, the X for Item 19 indicates that she had never been ordained.
So why did the church give her the credentials of an ordained minister? Well, what other credentials did they have that they could give her? The church has never had “prophetic” or “messenger” credentials, so it gave her its highest credentials without an ordination ceremony having been carried out. We can see the awkwardness of the situation in the fact that sometimes they crossed out the word “ordained”–they recognized that these credentials were not a perfect fit. But in fact she needed no church credentials. For more than 25 years prior to 1871 she functioned without them.
By the way, Arthur White included this information about the Biographical Information Blank in an article that Spectrum published back in the spring of 1972 (Spectrum, Vol. 4, No. 2, p. 8), so the information has been available for nearly 30 years. (I also included it in a two-part series I wrote for Ministry Magazine in the late 1980s.) I’m afraid it has simply been ignored by those who wish that matters had been different. Within the White Estate, over the years there have been differing opinions among the staff members about whether women should be ordained, but to my knowledge all have agreed that Ellen G. White had not been ordained. The three documents the White Estate keeps in print to send to people who have questions on related issues today all say the same thing: Mrs. White herself was never ordained.
I hope this is helpful. Thank you for writing, and God bless.
William Fagal, Director
Ellen G. White Estate Branch Office
Berrien Springs, MI 49104-1400 USA
Phone: 616 471-3209
FAX: 616 471-6166