As a preacher I have a quota on Ellen G. White quotes for my sermons. The quota is basically this: “NEVER have more Ellen White quotes than Bible texts, NEVER!”
Many years ago my wife and I were traveling, when we arrived at our destination for the evening I had a message on my phone,
“Pastor, Pastor you have to listen to the sermon that was preached today at church. We had guests, they walked out. It was horrible. Just listen!”
Well the next day my wife and I would be driving again and so I decided to download the sermon and listen to it as we drove. The content wasn’t horrible, the premise wasn’t to far off the mark (though out there a ‘bit), but I quickly realized what the issue was. About ten minutes into the sermon I started to count: 3 scriptures, 20 Ellen G. White quotes, and the three scriptures were from the first 10 minutes–they were easy to remember there were only 3 of them in the entire sermon! (I have to give the speaker credit he introduced her by all her titles: Mrs. White, Sister White, The prophet, The prophetess, The pen of inspiration, Our inspired writer, My favorite author, etc.)
Needless to say I wasn’t pleased!
This gentleman definitely wasn’t following the rule; never have Mrs. White out quote the Word of God!
So why do I bring this up?
Not because I am trying to discourage preachers from using Ellen White, in fact I think it is ridiculous for an Adventist preacher to not quote her, yet to quote from every other Spiritual writer there is, Lucado, Warren, Swindoll, Hybels, etc.. Her writings are powerful and she is often the first quote I want to use to illuminate what is being said. So we as preachers should quote her.
I don’t bring it up because I hear the pastors that do quote her, quoting her too much. I think most Adventist pastors are respectful of the “EGW Quote Quota.”
I bring this issue up, because I am afraid that for many of us, myself included (and not just pastors but many Seventh-day Adventist Christians) we have forgotten this rule when it comes to our Facebook & Twitter accounts!
I am finding more and more Ellen White quotes amongst my peers on Facebook & Twitter and not enough Bible. It seems her quotes are outpacing the Bible 3 to 1 (of course that is not an official ratio), but you get the point! I hope?
There are times when I’ve been doing seminars or speaking in front of an exclusively Adventist crowd and on these occasions I will use tons of Ellen White quotes, but when I am in a public forum speaking where I know there are many pre-Adventists present I will always make sure there is more Bible than “my favorite author.”
Because I want to do what Ellen White told us to do & what she tried to do for all of us, “Point people back to the Bible.”
Well Facebook, Twitter, & other Social Media outlets for most of us are public forums. They are for many of us, places where we have a signficant amount of contact w/ a captive audience. an audience which often times may not believe as we do, in those moments where do we want to FIRST point these individuals–hear me I am not saying to do away with Ellen White quotes or that they are unable to be edifying to the unbeliever–but where do we want to FIRST point our readers? To the Word of God! That which is, “a lamp unto their feet & a light unto their path.” (Psalm 119:105)
So let us all strive to remember The Ellen G. White Quote Quota, not just in our public speaking, but in all our public discourse, “NEVER quote Ellen White more than you quote the Bible, NEVER!”