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Answering Popular Arguments SDAs are Using to Defend Their Support of Black Lives Matter | Part 1 of 6: Ellen White’s Involvement in The Women’s Christian Temperance Union

 This is part one of a six-part series devoted to answering the popular arguments Seventh-day Adventists are using to defend their support and involvement in the Black Lives Matter Organization despite its principles and practices that are diametrically opposed to those of Seventh-day Adventism. Another objective of this series is to encourage Seventh-day Adventists that they do not have to join worldly political movements such as Black Lives Matter to stand for justice and reform. They should carry out their own movements for the upliftment of the physically and spiritually oppressed.

Since the tragic and heinous murder of George Floyd at the knee of police officer Derek Chuavin, while other officers stood by and did nothing for nearly nine minutes, while Floyd repeatedly pled for his life, there have been worldwide protests demanding justice not only for Floyd but also for others who were unjustly murdered. We agree that justice must be served and the officers involved in Floyd’s murder as well as the other murderers should be held accountable. At the forefront of many of the protests is the organization Black Lives Matter (BLM). Many individuals from various backgrounds, fed up with systemic racism and police brutality, have been attracted to the movement and thus have joined the demonstrations; they have marched, chanted their slogans, held BLM signs, donated to the organization, used their hashtags and promoted their messages. Many view the popularity of the movement as a positive phenomenon and applaud the individuals who are taking a stand for justice and joining the modern "civil rights movement.” Even Seventh-day Adventists are among the individuals championing the movement of “Black Lives Matter.” However, the organization “Black Lives Matter” is a movement that is antithetical to Christianity and Seventh-day Adventism.


We wish to be very clear that we are not saying that the message or words “black lives matter” are anti-Christian; we agree that black lives matter and our hearts are deeply grieved as we witness the injustices, brutality, lynchings and dehumanization that have been the lot of people of color since slavery.  So again, the problem is not with the phrase, but with the movement. We are saying emphatically that the movement itself and what its founders and leaders stand for are anti-Christian. We will not take the time to itemize all of the ideologies of the Black Lives Matter organization, as by now, they are pretty well-known and that is not the purpose of this commentary. If individuals are unaware of the organization’s agenda and tenets, a quick perusal of the Black Lives Matter official website1 and/or listening to the founders/leaders speak in interviews will indicate that BLM is a political movement that is more for the empowerment and advancement of the LGBT community than it is for racial equality.”2 It is founded upon Marxist ideologies.”3  It is a spiritualistic movement  rooted in mysticism, ancestor worship, libations, chanting, channeling and summoning spirits among other practices condemned by scripture.4 For additional information, please view the messages below.

 

Same Devil Under Different Masks. Beware of Popular Movements: Ancestral Worship, Libations, Spiritism. BLM Founders: Spirits of the Dead Empower, Talk To & Protect Us, "ASE". Remnant Need Sword of the Spirit Sharpened with Power & Lightning.

 

Sigh & Cry for SDAs. Beware of Blatant Mystic Teachings from SDA Pastors. Polyamory Is Now Legal. SPIRITUALISM vs THE SEALING

 

What is very alarming and heartbreaking is that even after being presented with the irrefutable proofs that this movement is not of God and is one of the agencies that Satan is using to accomplish his diabolical purposes, Seventh-day Adventist pastors and members, some of whom profess present truth, are making excuses and justifying their support and involvement in the movement. Not only are they defending the BLM movement and their involvement in its demonstrations, they are criticizing, denouncing and even vilifying the voices that are warning their brethren to have nothing to do with the organization. It seems as if their allegiance to BLM supersedes their allegiance to God and His word. They even try to use God’s word to defend their involvement with the movement.

 

Below is a summation of one of the most popular arguments that defenders of the BLM movement are using.

 

Argument: Ellen White united with the temperance movements of her day, one of which was the Women’s Christian Temperance Union (W.C.T.U.), and Adventists have historically united with social and political causes even though they were not in agreement on every position or principle of the organizations, no matter how troubling or fundamentally opposed with their beliefs. Therefore regardless of our differences as SDAs with the BLM movement, we can unite with them on their platforms.

 

This argument is summarized in an article that was posted on the NAD Ministerial website titled “Adventism & the Black Lives Matter,"5 written by Shawn Brace. This argument sounds reasonable especially after the supposed evidence that Ellen White joined the W.C.T.U. even though their beliefs did not align with those of Seventh-day Adventism is presented. Perhaps the reader has come across this argument and has been unable to adequately answer it. Here is the statement that has nearly gone viral in certain Adventist circles: “The Women’s Christian Temperance Union is an organization with whose efforts for the spread of temperance principles we can heartily unite. The light has been given me that we are not to stand aloof from them… We are to unite with them in laboring for temperance reforms.”6


 

 

As Seventh-day Adventists, many of whom reject and ignore the counsels of Ellen White in the areas of health reform and dress reform, among other principles, come across this “new light,” they widely circulate it with much enthusiasm and “enlighten” others while “proving” to all those who have pointed out the evil agenda of the BLM organization, that Ellen White endorses joining with worldly organizations for “noble” causes.

 

Reasonable thinkers understand that context is necessary for comprehension. Were individuals to read the passage in its entirety, they would understand the full picture of what Ellen White was really advocating. Here we will present the rest of the statement that has been conveniently omitted by SDA Black Lives Matter movement proponents. “The Woman's Christian Temperance Union is an organization with whose efforts for the spread of temperance principles we can heartily unite. The light has been given me that we are not to stand aloof from them, but, while there is to be no sacrifice of principle on our part, as far as possible we are to unite with them in laboring for temperance reforms. My husband and I in our labors, united with these temperance workers, and we had the joy of seeing several unite with us in the observance of the true Sabbath. Among them there is a strong prejudice against us, but we shall not remove this prejudice by standing aloof. God is testing us. We are to work with them when we can, and we can assuredly do this on the question of utterly closing the saloon. As the human agent submits his will to the will of God, the Holy Spirit will make the impression upon the hearts of those to whom he ministers. I have been shown that we are not to shun the W. C. T. U. workers. By uniting with them in behalf of total abstinence, we do not change our position regarding the observance of the seventh day, and we can show our appreciation of their position regarding the subject of temperance. By opening the door, and inviting them to unite with us on the temperance question, we secure their help along temperance lines; and they, by uniting with us, will hear new truths which the Holy Spirit is waiting to impress upon hearts. My brethren, be workers together with Christ. Make every possible effort in season and out of season to spread the light of present truth. The Lord has taught us how safe is the cable that anchors us to the living Rock. Here is an opportunity to labor for those who have truth on some points, but who on other points are not safely anchored. Keep in touch with the people wherever you can. ‘Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven.’"7

 

It should be clear to all those with basic reading comprehension skills that Ellen White was advocating that the members of the Women’s Christian Temperance Union unite with Seventh-day Adventists in their (SDAs) work of temperance and reform; and as they united with Seventh-day Adventists, the W.C.T.U. members would come to a knowledge of the true Sabbath and how to keep it. Ellen White says that Seventh-day Adventists were not to shun the W.C.T.U. workers but to work for their salvation. The context is not only temperance and prohibition but also bringing the light of truth to the other advocates of reform, the W.C.T.U. Consider again this portion of the statement: “By opening the door, and inviting them to unite with us on the temperance question, we secure their help along temperance lines; and they, by uniting with us, will hear new truths which the Holy Spirit is waiting to impress upon hearts.” It is clear from the passage and history that Seventh-day Adventists founded and had their own temperance movement.

 

Consider these additional statements on that very point of inviting the W.C.T.U. members to unite with Seventh-day Adventists in their labors for the sake of bringing W.C.T.U. members to a knowledge of the truth: “It would be a good thing if at our camp meetings we should invite the members of the W. C. T. U. to take part in our exercises. This would help them to become acquainted with the reasons of our faith…The Lord has in that organization precious souls, who can be a great help to us in our efforts to advance the temperance movement. And the education our people have had in Bible truth and in a knowledge of the requirements of the law of Jehovah, will enable our sisters to impart to these noble temperance advocates that which will be for their spiritual welfare.”8

 

“Great good will result from bringing these books [Christ’s Object Lessons and The Ministry of Healing] to the attention of the leaders in the Woman's Christian Temperance Union. We should invite these workers to our meetings, and give them an opportunity to become acquainted with our people. Place these precious books in their hands, and tell them the story of their gift to the cause, and its results. Explain how, by the sale of ‘Ministry of Healing,' patients may be brought to the sanitarium for healing who could never get there unaided; and how through this means assistance will be rendered in the establishment of sanitariums in places where they are greatly needed. If our sanitariums are wisely managed by men and women who have the fear of God before them, they will be a means of bringing us in connection with workers in the Women's Christian Temperance Union, and these workers will not be slow to see the advantage of the medical branch of our work. As a result of their contact with our medical work, some of them will learn truths that they need to know for the perfection of Christian character.”9

 

 

For Seventh-day Adventists today, this means that God would have them continue and/or start their own efforts and movements, employing His principles to uplift the oppressed and downtrodden. It is true that Ellen White accepted the invitations to various temperance rallies and spoke, but that does not mean that she became a part of the groups she addressed. She went as an evangelist, as a representative of the Seventh-day Adventist denomination and used those opportunities as a way of becoming acquainted with the people to more effectively present the everlasting gospel to them.  Nowhere in Ellen White’s writings can it be found that she became a member of the W.C.T.U. Ellen White, as well as many of the Seventh-day Adventists of her day, promoted Biblical causes, of which temperance was one using godly methods for social change and also to bring the present truth to souls. They never jumped on any bandwagon or espoused any movement that was founded upon atheistic and immoral principles.

 

It is no secret that the W.C.T.U. of Ellen White’s day was an agency that also desired to advance the Sunday Law, hence Ellen White could write the following, “Here the temperance work, one of the most prominent and important of moral reforms, is often combined with the Sunday movement, and the advocates of the latter represent themselves as laboring to promote the highest interest of society; and those who refuse to unite with them are denounced as the enemies of temperance and reform. But the fact that a movement to establish error is connected with a work which is in itself good, is not an argument in favor of the error. We may disguise poison by mingling it with wholesome food, but we do not change its nature. On the contrary, it is rendered more dangerous, as it is more likely to be taken unawares. It is one of Satan's devices to combine with falsehood just enough truth to give it plausibility. The leaders of the Sunday movement may advocate reforms which the people need, principles which are in harmony with the Bible; yet while there is with these a requirement which is contrary to God's law, His servants cannot unite with them. Nothing can justify them in setting aside the commandments of God for the precepts of men.”10

 

Let us hear the conclusion of the matter. Seventh-day Adventists are not to unite with agencies or organizations that have sinful agendas and ideologies behind them that will inevitably lead to lawlessness and eventually the Sunday Law, even if some of the causes they advocate are needed in society. They are rather to minister for the oppressed, and downtrodden using God’s methods alone. They are to have their own movements. Now is the time for God’s people to minister to the hurting, the oppressed, the marginalized, those in need, as many would be open given the current situation in society. May we pray and seek God for wisdom to minister as He would minster and to have the love and compassion that He has for souls to put in practice the principles of Isaiah 58 and Luke 4:18.

 

  1. https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-matters-2020/
     

  2. https://blacklivesmatter.com/what-we-believe/
     

  3. BLM Co-Founder Admits; "We Are Trained Marxists"
     

  4. Black Lives Matter is ‘a spiritual movement,’ says co-founder Patrisse Cullor
     

  5. Adventism & the Black Lives Matter
     

  6. White, Ellen. The Review and Herald, June 18, 1908
     

  7. Ibid
     

  8. White, Ellen. The Review and Herald, October 15, 1914
     

  9. White, Ellen. The Review and Herald, September 3, 1908
     

  10. White, Ellen. The Great Controversy (1911), page 587

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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