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Do we need Auntie Ellen?

by Ryan Hodgins

Nov 11, 2019

Title: Do we need Auntie Ellen?

I love working on cars. I also hate working on cars. I wanted to be on a pit crew for a race team so I went to college to get a Bachelor of Science in Automotive Service Technology. Then I decided to change my major to work toward becoming a pastor.

I’ve learned a lot since I started working on cars. One thing I learned is that sometimes you need a little more light to see. Just a few months ago, I was working on one of our cars and dropped a bolt down behind the engine. I could NOT see it. I looked and looked. I climbed on top of the engine to look down. I climbed under the engine to look up. I put a light above, and I put a light below. I still couldn’t see it. I thought, “Man, it would be great if I had just two more inches of space so I could squeeze my light right in THERE. Then I could see.”

During a panel discussion at the Revive Youth Rally this past summer, someone asked, “If the Bible is all we need, why does Ellen G. White matter so much?” What a great question! In fact, it’s a question I’ve asked many times.

The Seventh-day Adventist Church holds that the Bible is the only foundation for our beliefs. Second Timothy 3:16-17 says, “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”

God puts priority on His Word. However, He has also given us teachers throughout human history to help us have a little more light to see. Just as I could have used more light when working on my car, sometimes we need some more help to understand. Could I have gotten the work done on my car without an extra two inches? Of course. And, actually, I did. Would it have been nice to have more room? Absolutely!

Can we get everything we need for salvation from Scripture? Yes, absolutely. But it sure is nice to have some guidance to help us along the way. I wouldn’t have graduated from high school without teachers. Sure, I could have found all the material and done it on my own. But God created us to guide each other and to help each other. Every hero needs a guide.

Can we get by without Ellen White? Absolutely. But it sure does help to read her.

Can we get by without pastors? Yeah. But it’s nice to learn from others.

I have found over the years that the important thing is to be willing to learn. I didn’t like Ellen White for a long time because of the way people abused others with her writings. But that’s not her fault. I’m sure God isn’t happy with how the Bible has been misused. But it’s not the Bible’s fault. Now that I’ve realized this, I read Ellen White’s writings. I’ve grown much closer to God as a result.

That’s the whole point. I move forward because I keep searching. If you are opposed to EGW, that’s okay. But keep searching and moving forward. Maybe try reading Thoughts From the Mount of Blessing or Steps to Christ or even The Desire of Ages. You might be surprised by how much you move forward.

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