Ellen G. White bans sports

By Robert K. Sanders


1. Ellen White's Visions Bans Football and Play

"Diligent study is essential, and diligent hard work. Play is not essential. The influence has been growing among the students in their devotion to amusements, to a fascinating, bewitching power, to the counteracting of the influence to the truth upon the human mind and character .... What force of powers is put into your games of football and your other inventions after the way of the Gentiles—exercises which bless no one! .... I can not find an instance in the life of Christ where he devoted time to play and amusement. He was the great Educator for the present and the future life. I have not been able to find one instance where He educated His disciples to engage in amusements of football or pugilistic games, to obtain physical exercise... and yet Christ was our pattern in all things." Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 228, 229.

Note: Where does the Bible tell us "Play is not essential"? Of course Christ did not educate his followers to play football, as it had not been invented. Christ nor did not do aerobics, horseback riding, and jogging does this mean these sports are also wrong? In Jesus' day, Greeks, Romans and others played games and Jesus did not condemn these games as being evil.

Isn't it amazing that Christians for 2000 years did not know "play was not essential" and that games were "counteracting of the influence to the truth upon the human mind" till EGW made it clear to her church. It makes a person wonder how people ever got along without EGW's "spirit of nonsense."

"In the night season messages have been given to me to give you in Battle Creek, and to all our schools... Thus Satan and his angels are laying their snares for your souls...'Be sober, be vigilant" [not in kicking football and educating yourselves in the objectionable games which ought to make every Christian blush with mortification at the afterthought] "be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour." Yes, he is on your playground watching your amusements, catching every soul that is off guard, sowing his seeds in human minds, and controlling the human intellect. For Christ's sake call a halt to the Battle Creek College, and consider the after-workings upon the heart and the character and the principles of those amusements copied after the fashion of other schools. You have been steadily progressing in the ways of the Gentiles, and not after the example of Christ. Satan is on the schoolground; he is present in every exercise in the school room. The students have had their minds deeply excited in their games, and are not in the best condition to receive instruction, the counsel, the reproof, most essential for them in this life and for the future immortal life." Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 220; 225.

Note: EGW is having one of her many nocturnal dreams. By telling the students that "Satan is on the schoolground" seeking "to snare their souls," ought to scare them enough to keep them from playing any sport games. Right!

This message applies to all Adventist Schools. Seventh-day Adventists that play football have had their souls ensnared by Satan while non-SDA Christians do not have this guilt trip hanging over their heads.


2. Adventist Colleges ignore the Spirit of Prophecy regarding sports

Eighty percent of Adventist colleges and more than 50 percent of Adventist academies compete with other schools in at least one sport.

In her article, "Watching the Bouncing Ball: Interscholastic Sports on Adventist Campuses," (Spectrum, Vol. 19, No. 1), the (then) new editor Bonnie Dwyer reports that: "A recent survey conducted by the SDA Health, Physical Education, and Recreation Association (SDA-HPERA) found that in North America 80 percent of the Adventist colleges and more than 50 percent of the academies (who responded to the survey) compete with other schools in at least one sport. Some colleges have had intercollegiate sports games for several seasons and are joining the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletes (NAIA). The NAIA is a league made up of schools that have less than 4,000 students ... its purpose is to give smaller colleges the opportunity to compete with schools of equal means." Dwyer then lists five SDA colleges who actively participate in competitive sports: Columbia Union College, Atlantic Union College, Walla Walla College, Union College and Loma Linda University. In addition, there are "Many Adventist academies" who compete in community leagues and offer sports scholarships, among them Takoma Park Academy in Washington, D.C., La Sierra Academy and Loma Linda Academy.

Tim Windmuth, Director of Sports at Walla Walla College says students there have competed in more than 200 games a year. He believes "the sports program promotes a positive image on campus, a rallying point for Christian fellowship" and their goal is to recruit athletes for Christ."


3. Ellen White warns against the dire consequences of sports—A recap

  • The Holy Spirit will not work in their hearts (FCE 220)
  • They have grieved the Spirit of God (CT 348-350)
  • They are only professed children of God (CT 350)
  • They are controlled by Satan (FCE 225)
  • They are following the ways of the Gentiles (FCE 225)
  • Their character is affected when playing games (FCE 225)
  • They appear frivolous, rude and grotesque during games (CT 348)
  • They should blush with mortification after playing football (FCE 225)
  • They have a marred record in heaven (CT 348-349)
  • They are weighed in the balances and found wanting (CT 348-349)
  • They should follow Christ, their pattern, who never played football (FCE 229)
  • Satan and his angels are on the grounds when sports are played (FCE 220; 225)
    FCE -Fundamentals of Christian Education CT -Councils to Parents, Teachers, and Students


4. Ellen White's visions bans tennis and cricket

"A view of things was presented before me in which the students were playing games of tennis and cricket. Then I was given instruction regarding the character of these amusements. They were presented to me as a species of idolatry, like the idols of the nations. There were more than visible spectators on the ground. Satan and his angels were there, making impressions upon human minds. Angels of God, who minister to those who shall be heirs of salvation, were also present, not to approve, but to disapprove." Counsels to Parents, Teachers, and Students, p. 350.

Note: Another EGW visionary "instruction". Were these students really participating in idolatry by playing tennis and cricket? Were these students bowing and praying to the gods of tennis and cricket? Ellen was a deluded fanatical person that was attempting to control people using God as the whip by saying I was instructed", "I was shown," "I saw", etc. This is what cult leaders and their followers do; instead of pointing to the Word for instruction, they point to the imaginary communications their prophet has from God.


5. EGW bans jumping, playing Ball and croquet for girls

"Every day there is housework to be done—cooking, washing dishes, sweeping, and dusting. Mothers, have you taught your daughters to do these daily duties? ... Their muscles need exercise. In the place of getting exercise by jumping and playing ball or croquet, let their exercises be to some purpose." Child Guidance, p. 352.

Note: Does God want to see girls doing only housework and never having time for play? The Bible does not support this nonsense?


6. EGW bans picnics, donations, shows and all gatherings for pleasure

"All true followers of Jesus will have sacrifices to make. God will prove them and test the genuineness of their faith. I have been shown that the true followers of Jesus will discard picnics, donations, shows, and other gatherings for pleasure. They can find no Jesus there, and no influence which will make them heavenly minded and increase their growth in grace." 1 Testimonies for the Church, p. 288.

Note: EGW tells us that we will not find Jesus at our picnics, or donations, shows or other gathering for pleasure. If you go she says you are not a true Christian. Wow! EGW encouraged "donations" to her own church, however she must not have wanted her flock's money to go to other organizations.

EGW sure did not want anyone gathering to have fun outside of a church or family setting. EGW's paranoid belief that the church was some kind of a chastity belt, and that would protect them from Satan. We know by looking at the history of corruption in the SDA Church, that this is not so.


SDA Pastors play baseball with youth

1988 Arizona Campmeeting features, practical classes

"But there's so much more that makes campmeetings exciting to both adults and children...recreational activities and swimming in the campground pool are led by dedicated ministers and experienced ladies Twice during the week the ministers joined the youth for a baseball game and this year for the first time in many years the minister's won." Pacific Union Recorder, August 1, 1988, p. 6.

Note: Don't these ministers of EGW know that by encouraging young people to play sports, they are teaching, "idolatry" and by so doing they are grieving the Holy Spirit, following after Satan, that they all have a "marred record in heaven"? Wow!


Ellen's family plays ball

Although Ellen White lashed out unmercifully at those who failed to heed her warnings and rebukes about baseball and other sports, what was the practice in her own family? Did they live up to the light?

During an interview with Ellen White's granddaughter, Grace Jacques 7/7/78. She said one of her happiest childhood memories were the times she and her three brothers and three sisters played baseball at Elmshaven. Apparently Grace's grandmother never told her three granddaughters girls should not play baseball, or if she did, they just ignored her.


But Ellen White warned others

"Every day there is housework to be done---cooking, washing dishes, sweeping, and dusting. Mothers, have you taught your daughters to do these daily duties? ... Their muscles need exercise. In the place of getting exercise by jumping and, playing ball or croquet, let their exercise be to some purpose." CF 352)


Ellen White's angel guide—A parable

By Pastor W. H. Olson

And Ellen White's Angel Guide turned to her and said with great solemnity, "Look ye! And take heed for there are some very strange things going on at Elmshaven. There seems to be a baseball craze. Look ye! And behold the idolatry of your own Godless wayward grandchildren who are outside playing baseball! " And her Angel Guide wept with a loud voice, saying, "Look ye! Look ye! For Satan is on the playground. Look ye from your upstairs window. See how frivolous, how rude, how grotesque your seven grandchildren appear as you allow them to mimic the amusements of the Gentiles. Oh! What an account their father Willie will have to render to God, for behold, he has allowed baseball to win his children to the world. Hear ye! has Christ Himself not told you to warn your own family that baseball is "an offense to God"? Christ can no longer look upon one of your seven grandchildren with favor. They have all been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Look ye! Rebuke the sins in thine own house." But Ellen looked away.

And it came to pass after many months Ellen White's Angel Guide again appeared unto her in the night season, saying with greater solemnity than before, "Look ye! Time is short! Hearken to this, my last warning! Look ye in the direction of son Willie's home next door. Behold, I have seen some things in Willie's family that are still not in accordance with what you said you were shown in vision, for in spite of all your warnings to others, why are Willie's four sons and three daughters still playing baseball? If your wayward granddaughters needed exercise, why didn't you tell them to get into the house and start cooking, washing dishes, sweeping and scrubbing? Hasn't their mother taught them anything? I have waited and waited for you to warn them, but instead you sat on the upstairs veranda watching Willie's seven wayward children engaging in their favorite bewitching, worldly sport. But you were not sitting alone as the only spectator on the veranda. Satan and his angels were there and so were the angels of God, not to approve, but to disapprove.

And Ellen White's Angel Guide wept in an even louder voice than before, saying, and "For Christ's sake tell Willie to put a halt to this at once before his probation closes. For Willie, like Eli, has brought himself under the curse of God by allowing his wayward children to play baseball. Behold ye! Willie, his mother, his wife and all his Godless children have been weighed in the balances and found wanting. Look ye! And weep, oh thou prophetess who claims to 'Cry aloud and spare not and show my people their sins.' For thou never didst rise up early in the morning to reprove and rebuke thy son Willie and his family for their sins. Look ye! Oh thou hypocrite! But Ellen looked away. The Angel Guide said, "Ellen and you and your family have a marred record in heaven."

(EGW's slightly paraphrased warnings about sports can be found in 8T 50-52; FE 220-225; CT 348-350; CG 277-278, 352)


SDAs have two sources of "authoritative" truth, Christians have one source, the Bible.

Many SDAs when they read EGW's nonsense contend that the Bible only is the source of truth for the SDA Church, meaning that the writings of EGW are not important. All that EGW writes is the source of truth for the SDA Church. SDA's have the Bible and the writings of Ellen White for a source of "authoritative truth." And the Latter Day Saints have the Bible and the Book of Mormon as "authoritative truth."

Seventh-day Adventists Believe: One of the gifts of the Holy Spirit is prophecy. This gift is an identifying mark of the remnant church and was manifested in the ministry of Ellen G. White. As the Lord's messenger, her writings are a continuing and authoritative source of truth which provide for the church comfort, guidance, instruction, and correction. They also make clear that the Bible is the standard by which all teaching and experience must be tested. Fundamental Beliefs, 17. SDA 27 Fundamental Beliefs.

Robert K. Sanders, Founder and Editor of Truth or Fables, 1997–2012
Life Assurance Ministries assumed ownership of Truth or Fables in 2012
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