Questions from Catholics
The following set of questions was received (and replied to) on December 11th, 1999, from the Catholic editors at http://rcatholic-l.freeservers.com :
Michael says "It is NOT really my intent to offend anyone.." Its hard to see how his website could not offend. He offers the challenge "So if you are offended, or feel that what I have posted is in error, then please write me and explain in some detail where you feel I have erred. I am willing to consider your point of view."
With this in mind the esteemed editors at R_Catholic-L wrote Michael Scheifler.
As a Catholic, its hard to see how a reasonable person of any denomination would not be offended by your website, especially Catholics. You invited website visitors to write you. I am extending you the opportunity to give Catholics an insight to how a notable anti-Catholic feels about Catholics. I am writing these questions for Catholics and this article will be posted in its entirety for Catholics to read. You can also view this document at http://rcatholic-l.freeservers.com/michael.html.
1. Do you hate Catholics?
No. Do you hate what you call anti-Catholics? Why do Catholics automatically assume that they are hated by those who disagree strongly with Catholic doctrines and teaching?
If I were to walk down a street and see a neighbor's house on fire, what do you think I should do? Any responsible person would immediately try to give a warning and get anyone in the house to leave because of the clear danger. Now, if I really hated the people in that house, I might, in my hatred, do nothing and let them perish in the fire. Surely to do nothing would be the worst possible outcome. Now make the house the Catholic Church, and the fire is apostate doctrine. I know from scripture that this apostasy is quite dangerous, and could be fatal. What am I to do, try to warn them and get the people out, or do nothing? Which is an act of love and concern and not hatred?
2. Most people with deep prejudices often say in their defense "I have friends that are black," or "I have friends that are Jewish" as a defense. With this in mind do you have any Catholic friends?
That is a loaded question, but I will answer it anyway. I have many ex-Catholics as friends that are now Adventists, but I must admit, I have few if any practicing Catholic friends or acquaintances. (At least they have not told me they are Catholic, if they are).
3. Do you really feel that Catholics worship statues?
Catholics will deny it, and I accept them at their word, but the commandment of God forbids bowing down in front of images of any kind, and this Catholics do routinely, so they are breaking the commandment. It does not matter that they deny worshipping the statue/image, bowing down before it is an act of idolatry forbidden by God.
4. Would you accept a gold medal from the pope considering that Adventists believe he is the antichrist?
I will take all the gold you or the Pope want to give me and use it for the work of the Lord. Did not Israel take all the gold they could carry from Pharaoh and Egypt when they left it?
5. Are all Catholics damned?
Certainly not. In fact, scripture makes clear that the majority of God's people are now IN Babylon, and they are to be called out of it:
Rev 18:4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues.
That is a message that many Catholics will hear and respond to.
How could a person ask questions of an Adventist and not cover some about the late Ellen White?
1. According to Ellen White there are a race of people who are an amalgamation of man and beast. Which race of people is this?
"But if there was one sin above another which called for the destruction of the race by the flood, it was the base crime of amalgamation of man and beast which defaced the image of God, and caused confusion everywhere.
Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 64"
"Every species of animal which God had created were preserved in the ark. The confused species which God did not create, which were the result of amalgamation, were destroyed by the flood. Since the flood there has been amalgamation of man and beast, as may be seen in the almost endless varieties of species of animals, and in certain races of men.
Spiritual Gifts, Vol. 3, p. 75"
You misunderstand what she was saying. She was NOT speaking about cross-breeding between animals and humans. Ellen White was speaking about the genetic engineering of animals by man, and similarly cross-breeding between types of humans. Hitler tried the same kind of manipulation to try and produce a super Aryan race. Today there is the same controversy over genetic engineering of plants, animals and men. Man today is able by manipulation to produce species that were not created by God, and clone animals etc. With their superior intellect, the people before the flood were doing the same kind of species engineering, and producing "man-made" varieties of plants, animals, and yes, perhaps even "super" humans.
2. The above shows a extreme racial prejudice to go with White's religious prejudices. Many times when people have racial or religious prejudices they will defend themselves by saying "I have friends that are Catholic," or "I have friends that are black. " Do you have any friends that are the amalgamation of "Man and beast"?
Your question was based on a false assumption, but now you know what Ellen White really meant by her remarks, which were not racist at all.
3. Are the inhabitants of Saturn "a tall, majestic people, so unlike the inhabitants of earth" as White claimed?
I don't think Ellen White ever spoke of Jupiter [or Saturn, see below] in that regard, but she did say this:
The Lord has given me a view of other worlds. Wings were given me, and an angel attended me from the city to a place that was bright and glorious. The grass of the place was living green, and the birds there warbled a sweet song. The inhabitants of the place were of all sizes; they were noble, majestic, and lovely. They bore the express image of Jesus, and their countenances beamed with holy joy, expressive of the freedom and happiness of the place. I asked one of them why they were so much more lovely than those on the earth. The reply was, "We have lived in strict obedience to the commandments of God, and have not fallen by disobedience, like those on the earth." Early Writings, pg. 39.
Even scripture speaks of other worlds:
Heb 1:2 Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds;
Heb 11:3 Through faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that things which are seen were not made of things which do appear.
I have no problem believing that there are indeed other unfallen worlds in this universe, worlds that have tall majestic inhabitants, but I don't think Ellen White ever said that Jupiter [or Saturn, see below] was inhabited.
Now, I would like to invite the readers at http://rcatholic-l.freeservers.com/ to visit my web page. If you can find any errors, especially in regard to Catholic doctrines or practices, I will happily correct them. I have no need or desire to misrepresent Catholicism.
Bible Light Homepage
Thank you for your time.
Subsequent to the above exchange I have found the statements of Ellen White that undoubtedly prompted the question asked about the planet Saturn. Note that Ellen White never names any planets she sees in vision, nor does she speak of any inhabitants on them.
Ellen G. White: The Early Years Volume 1 - 1827-1862
The Harmon home in Gorham became the place of residence for the newlyweds. We know very little of the early weeks of their married life. But in November [of 1846] they attended a conference in Topsham some thirty-five miles to the north, at the home of Brother Curtis. Joseph Bates had come up from New Bedford and was present. Ellen White wrote:
The Spirit of God rested upon us in Brother C.'s humble dwelling, and I was wrapt in a vision of God's glory, and for the first time had a view of other planets. After I came out of vision I related what I had seen.-- Ibid ., p. 239.
Actually, during the vision, wholly unbeknown to her, she spoke of what was passing before her. J. N. Loughborough recounted in print the description of the meeting as Bates told it to him:
Mrs. White, while in vision, began to talk about the stars, giving a glowing description of rosy-tinted belts which she saw across the surface of some planet, and added, "I see four moons."
"Oh," said Elder Bates, "she is viewing Jupiter!" Then having made motions as though traveling through space, she began giving a description of belts and rings in their ever-varying beauty, and said, "I see seven moons."
Elder Bates exclaimed, "She is describing Saturn."
Next came the description of Uranus, with its six moons; then a wonderful description of the "opening heavens," with its glory, calling it an opening into a region more enlightened. Elder Bates said that her description far surpassed any account of the opening heavens he had ever read from any author.
While she was talking and still in vision, he arose to his feet, and exclaimed, "O how I wish Lord John Rosse was here tonight!" Elder White inquired, "Who is Lord John Rosse?"
"Oh," said Elder Bates, "he is the great English astronomer. I wish he was here to hear that woman talk astronomy, and to hear that description of the 'opening heavens.' It is ahead of anything I ever read on the subject."--GSAM, p. 258.
Ellen White reported of this experience in the Curtis home:
After I came out of vision I related what I had seen. Elder Bates then asked if I had studied astronomy. I told him I had no recollection of ever looking into an astronomy.
Said he, "This is of the Lord."
I never saw him as free and happy before. His countenance shone with the light of heaven, and he exhorted the church with power.--1LS, p. 239.
A few months later James White wrote: At our conference in Topsham, Maine, last November, Ellen had a vision of the handiworks of God. She was guided to the planets Jupiter, Saturn, and I think one more.[* ELLEN WHITE, NEITHER IN VISION NOR AFTERWARD, GAVE THE NAMES OF THE PLANETS SHE SAW. FROM HER DESCRIPTIONS BATES IDENTIFIED THEM AND JAMES WHITE MADE USE OF HIS IDENTIFICATION.] After she came out of vision, she could give a clear description of their moons, et cetera. It is well known that she knew nothing of astronomy, and could not answer one question in relation to the planets, before she had this vision.--WLF, p. 22.
For an explanation of the vision, see Astronomical Statements of Ellen White at the E. G. White Estate web site.
The quotation from Early Writings that I previously cited also appears in The Early Years Volume 1 - 1827-1862, page 156, and concerns a separate vision she apparently had Dec. 16, 1848 which was published in 1849. Here is a search engine for E. G. White's Published Writings online at the E.G. White Estate web site.