Baptized into Ellen G. White
By Robert K. Sanders
Some Seventh-day Adventist members have written to us, telling us that they were not baptized into Ellen G. White. Read on.
This "baptism" is done in such a way that baptismal candidates do not realize what has happened. The pastor or Bible teacher will teach the baptismal candidates that Ellen G. White has the "Spirit of Prophecy." I have listed below the "Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs and Vows" from the SDA Church Manual.
Summary of Doctrinal Beliefs, Number 20. "The church is to come behind in no gift, and the presence of the gift of the Spirit of prophecy is to be one of the identifying marks of the remnant church. (I Cor. 1:5-7; 12:1-28; Amos 3:7; Hosea 12:10, 13; Rev. 12:17; 19:10.) Seventh-day Adventists recognize that this gift was manifested in the life and ministry of Ellen G. White."
Note: As you can see the candidate is taught that Ellen G. White had the "Spirit of Prophecy." But when the candidate is quizzed before the church they use the "Vows" which does not mention EGW in the "Baptismal Vow and Baptism number 8".
Vow number 8. "Do you accept the Biblical teaching of spiritual gifts, and do you believe that the gift of prophecy in the remnant church is one of the identifying marks of that church?" (See pp. 39, 40, 293.)
Note: To the candidate, the remnant church is the Seventh-day Adventist Church, and the gift of prophecy is given to Ellen G. White their prophetess. So if you did not hear Ellen G. White mentioned in your vows, this is the reason, you had already agreed to it in your indoctrination. And when the church hears the vows it is assumed by all that you have accepted Ellen White. If any non-Adventist visitors are present they will not think anything cultic has transpired, which they would if the pastor asked, "do you accept Ellen G. White as having the "Spirit of Prophecy"? They would ask, "Who is Ellen G. White," that you are accepting before you can be baptized into Christ?
Excerpts from the Seventh-day Adventist Church Manual, 1981, Pages 58, 63
Ministers Thoroughly to Instruct Candidates Previous to Baptism.
A minister should not present any candidate for baptism and church membership until he can satisfy the church by a public examination that the candidate has been well instructed and is ready to take such a step (see p. 61). In churches where frequent baptisms might reduce the significance of a public examination, an alternative plan should be observed. The minister's work is not completed until he has thoroughly instructed the candidates, and they are familiar with and committed to all fundamental beliefs and related practices of the church and are prepared to assume the responsibilities of church membership. Our churches should insist on the application of this as a guiding principle in the reception of new members. Our churches, through the church board, should insist that candidates be instructed individually and, in addition, wherever possible, that they be taught in a baptismal class.
"The test of discipleship is not brought to bear as closely as it should be upon those who present themselves for baptism. It should be understood whether they are simply taking the name of Seventh-day Adventists, or whether they are taking their stand on the Lord's side, to come out from the world and be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Before baptism there should be a thorough inquiry as to the experience of the candidates. Let this inquiry be made, not in a cold and distant way, but kindly, tenderly, pointing the new converts to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. Bring the requirements of the gospel to bear upon the candidates for baptism." Ibid. , pp. 95, 96.
"When they give evidence that they fully understand their position, they are to be accepted." Testimonies to Ministers, p. 128.
The church has a right to know concerning the faith and attitude of every individual applying for church membership. It is proper for a public examination of all candidates to be held prior to their baptism, preferably in the presence of the church. If this should prove to be impracticable, then it should be before the church board or a committee appointed by the church board, such as the board of elders (see p. 88) whose report should then be rendered to the church prior to the baptism. In using the alternative mentioned under the preceding section opportunity should be given for candidates to give public expression of their desire to unite with the church and to be identified with and by the church.
A summary of doctrinal beliefs, prepared especially for the instruction of candidates for baptism, together with Baptismal Vow and Certificate of Baptism have been adopted by the denomination as a baptismal covenant. A printed copy of this covenant, with the Certificate of Baptism properly completed, should be furnished all those who are accepted for church membership by baptism. In the case of those received on profession of faith, an appropriate certificate will also be given.
Doctrinal Instruction for Baptismal Candidates
This summary of doctrinal beliefs is especially prepared for the instruction of candidates for baptism. Every candidate should thoroughly familiarize himself with the teachings contained in this outline and with the duties enjoined upon believers, demonstrating by practice his willing acceptance of all the doctrines taught by Seventh-day Adventists and the principles of conduct which are the outward expression of these teachings, for it is "by their fruits ye shall know them."
Prospective members of the Seventh-day Adventist Church, before baptism or acceptance on profession of faith, should be carefully instructed from the Scriptures in the fundamental beliefs of the church as presented in chapter 2 (pp. 31-46) of this Manual. In order to assist evangelists, pastors, and others in giving such instruction and making it Scripture-based and practical, a specially prepared outline appears as an appendix on pages 288-294 of this Manual and in the Manual for Ministers.
Baptismal Vow and Baptism
In the presence of the church or in the presence of a properly appointed body (see pp. 59, 60), the following questions should be posed and answered in the affirmative by candidates for baptism, and by those being received on profession of faith.
- Do you believe in God the Father, in His Son Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Spirit?
- Do you accept the death of Jesus Christ on Calvary as the atoning sacrifice for the sins of men, and believe that through faith in His shed blood men are saved from sin and its penalty?
- Renouncing the world and its sinful ways, have you accepted Jesus Christ as your personal Saviour, and do you believe that God, for Christ's sake, has forgiven your sins and given you a new heart?
- Do you accept by faith the righteousness of Christ, recognizing Him as your Intercessor in the heavenly sanctuary, and do you claim His promise to strengthen you by His indwelling Spirit, so that you may receive power to do His will?
- Do you believe that the Bible is God's inspired word, and that it constitutes the only rule of faith and practice for the Christian?
- Do you accept the Ten Commandments as still binding upon Christians; and is it your purpose, by the power of the indwelling Christ, to keep this law, including the fourth commandment, which requires the observance of the seventh day of the week as the Sabbath of the Lord?
- Is the soon coming of Jesus the blessed hope in your heart, and are you determined to be personally ready to meet the Lord, and to do all in your power to witness to His loving salvation, and by life and word to help others to be ready for His glorious appearing?
- Do you accept the Biblical teaching of spiritual gifts, and do you believe that the gift of prophecy in the remnant church is one of the identifying marks of that church? (See pp. 39, 40, 293.)
- Do you believe in church organization, and is it your purpose to support the church by your tithes and offerings, your personal effort, and influence? (See also pp. 41, 87, 203-206, 292.)
- Do you believe that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and that you are to honor God by caring for your body, avoiding the use of that which is harmful, abstaining from all unclean foods, from the use, manufacture, or sale of alcoholic beverages, the use, manufacture, or sale of tobacco in any of its forms for human consumption, and from the misuse of, or trafficking in, narcotics or other drugs?
- Knowing and understanding the fundamental Bible principles as taught by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, is it your purpose, by the grace of God, to order your life in harmony with these principles?
- Do you accept the New Testament teaching of baptism by immersion, and do you desire to be so baptized as a public expression of your faith in Christ and in the forgiveness of your sins? (See also p. 288.)
- Do you believe that the Seventh-day Adventist Church is the remnant church of Bible prophecy, and that people of every nation, race, and language are invited and accepted into its fellowship? Do you desire membership in this local congregation of the world church?
After the candidates have satisfactorily answered the foregoing questions, or assurance has been given to the church that such answers have already been given, the church body should be asked to vote on their acceptance into the church, subject to baptism, which ordinance should not be unduly delayed.
Note: Where is there one example in the Bible requiring baptismal candidates to accept a prophet as having the Spirit of Prophecy to be baptized?