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June 16, 2010

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The question "why" begs the counter-question "why not". Why would there be an issue over Ellen White criticizing Battle Creek College? Are there reasons that would give Ellen White pause in criticizing the development of Battle Creek College's educational strategy? What assumptions are we making when we ask why a prophet, a leader, a church member would be willing to criticize an institution that serves the collective organization they belong to?

Okay, enough questions . . . I personally think that the design of our educational institutions should not be under the exclusive control of a select few but ought to represent the collective strategy of our church. What I mean by “the church” is the body of Christ not a formal organization. Our schools were established to serve the body of Christ in providing an environment where our young people would learn in the presence of the Holy Spirit, where those are gathered that are drawn to Him. I think Ellen White is appealing to the Church, the body of Christ, not the leadership of the school.

Ellen White in her critique is not only exercising her role as a prophet but as a member of the body of Christ. Yet perhaps, the two are not mutually exclusive. Perhaps a prophet is a member of the body of Christ. Perhaps it is we who elevate her to something we do not see ourselves capable of. Is Ellen White the Moses who we, as the Israelites did, place her between us and God so that we would not enter into an intimate relationship with Him? Aren’t we all called to be members of the body whose works are of the Father not of ourselves, revealing the power of God in a manner greater than those who came before us? If so then we are all called to not just criticize but participate in the body of Christ, allowing ourselves to be His vessels and be coordinated to His perfect will. Each of us ought to share in the development, exercise, support and planning of the institutions that bear our name. We are all of us heirs to the kingdom, sons and daughters of God and therefore stewards of the material instruments He utilizes to accomplish His purpose.

David Koresh believed in the second coming, and so do you. Plenty of apostates accept your logical premises about the heavenly sanctuary. Beliefs are not the only determining factor in telling a person's philosophy.

David, I appreciate your putting Mrs. White's comments into the perspective of the body of Christ. It brings to mind Moses' comments when told that others in the camp were prophesying, "I would that they were all prophets . . ." Certainly, a prophet at times has access to information that others do not, and thus may have a more frequent role in public guidance for the church. But constructive critique and even rebuke in the Bible was not limited to those with special revelatory powers. Respectfully and appropriately holding each other accountable, including our institutions, seems to be a duty and responsibility that comes from being part of the body of Christ generally.

Alex, your comment is puzzling and think that it perhaps was misplaced here, perhaps you were intending to respond to another blog, I'm not sure. If it is intentionally placed here, you will need to clarify your point. Thanks.

Education is at its best when the community and the institution are able to communicate their expectations. Ellen White may have been asked her views on the direction of the school. She had the right to publicly critique the school as both a church member and as a prophet particularly if she disagreed. I think it is important to have a framework which allows for check and balances in christian education. I believe that as a community of believers, we have the right to voice our opinions about a school system that might be heading in the wrong direction. Church leaders have an important responsibility to share their views and blow the whistle if the path taken is the wrong one. Leaders need to ensure that Christian education is in line with the Bible. After all education should be meeting the needs and broadening the horizons for the community and those participating in the educational process.

Excellent article by N.Miller,Memory,Meaning& Faith

Ah...leadership,leadership,God bless them,may they respond
Hesitant Leadership is Weak Leadership-" It is even more excusable
to make a wrong decision than to be continually in a wavering position;
to be hesitating,sometimes inclined in one direction,then in another.More
perplexity and wretchedness result from this hesitating and doubting than from sometimes moving too hastity. I have been shown that the most signal victories and the most fearful defeats have been on the turn of minutes.God
requires promptness of action.Delays,doubtings,hesitation,and indecision give the enemy every advantage. Gospel Workers p134

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Memory, Meaning & Faith is a blog covering Christian history in light of contemporary issues.

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