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Ellen G White

Umm I am reading that seh condemns fictional stories. Is there anything scriptural to back this up?


Asked by rhanford at 5:55 AM on Jul. 11, 2009 in Religion & Beliefs

Level 16 (2,581 Credits)
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Answers (27)
  • I believe that we should be cautious when choosing literature, but I can't say that all fiction leads to decadence. This is an issue on which I disagree with Mrs. White. I've sought conviction, but it hasn't come.

    Answer by Lexylex at 6:56 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • There is nothing wrong with fictional stories as long as they are not saying anything bad about God. Does she talk of a certain type of fiction or a certain book or movie. I read Christian romance stories. They're fiction but they are also Christian. I don't think there are any scriptures that say fiction is bad. But it depends on the story of course.


    Answer by Samantha_1629 at 6:02 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Question
    I'm concerned that my daughter is being read the Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe from the Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. Lewis in her 3rd grade class. The setting for the series is a magical, mystical land called Narnia where creatures have special powers and the battle between good and evil is claimed by many readers (NOT C.S. Lewis) to parallel the Christian experience. The elements of supernatural power ie the magician Uncle Andrew, the magic rings that transport Polly and Digory to Narnia, the sorceress white witch, well as many characters of Roman & Greek mythology warn me to avoid this subtle intro to the occult realm of Fantasy/Fiction. Am I all washed up? Please refer me to some Biblical and EGW references that counsel our choices of reading and instructional material pertinent to my concern. Do you think Narnia is edifying of dangerous? Get more from the Web.

    Answer by rhanford at 6:15 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Dear Sister _______,

    Thank you for contacting the Ellen G. White Estate. Mrs. White does counsel against reading of fantasy/fiction. Two such passages may be found in Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 92-94, and The Ministry of Healing, pp. 445-446. If on the basis of such statements one decided not to read (or allow one's children to hear) the C. S. Lewis Narnia books, the lack would certainly not cripple them spiritually.


    Answer by rhanford at 6:16 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • However, I have read portions of those books (I doubt I've read any one of them all the way through), and I came away saying that they were symbolic, perhaps even allegorical, representations of a basically sound Christian worldview. (Lewis, like many other non-Adventist Christians, gets it wrong on the state of the dead.) In other words, if my evaluation was correct, they are not fictional stories told for their entertainment value, such as Mrs. White describes, but in some respects may resemble what John Bunyan was trying to do in his allegory Pilgrim's Progress." The latter story was not "true," either, but taught truths of the Christian life through symbols or figures. Here is what Mrs. White said of that book


    Answer by rhanford at 6:16 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • In a loathsome dungeon crowded with profligates and felons, John Bunyan breathed the very atmosphere of heaven; and there he wrote his wonderful allegory of the pilgrim's journey from the land of destruction to the celestial city. For over two hundred years that voice from Bedford jail has spoken with thrilling power to the hearts of men. Bunyan's Pilgrim's Progress and Grace Abounding to the Chief of Sinners have guided many feet into the path of life. {GC 252}

    I have no burden to urge the Narnia books on you or your children. But what I have suggested here may be an aspect of the matter that you have not yet considered. Feel free to come to your own conclusions about what to do in your particular situation.

    I hope this is helpful. Thank you for writing, and God bless!

    Answer by rhanford at 6:17 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Cheap works of fiction do not profit. They impart no real knowledge; they inspire no great and good purpose; they kindle in the heart no earnest desires for purity; they excite no soul hunger for righteousness. On the contrary, they take time which should be given to the practical duties of life and to the service of God,--time which should be devoted to prayer, to visiting the sick, caring for the needy, and educating yourself for a useful life. When you commence reading a storybook, how frequently the imagination is so excited that you are betrayed into sin. You disobey your parents, and bring confusion into the domestic circle by neglecting the simple duties devolving upon you. And worse than this, prayer is forgotten, and the Bible is read with indifference or entirely neglected.

    This is from Fundamentals of Christian Education, pp. 92

    Answer by rhanford at 6:20 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • The world is flooded with books that are filled with enticing error. The youth receive as truth that which the Bible denounces as falsehood, and they love and cling to deception that means ruin to the soul. There are works of fiction that were written for the purpose of teaching truth or exposing some great evil. Some of these works have accomplished good. Yet they have also wrought untold harm. They contain statements and highly wrought pen pictures that excite the imagination and give rise to a train of thought which is full of danger, especially to the youth. The scenes described are lived over and over again in their thoughts. Such reading unfits the mind for usefulness and disqualifies it for spiritual exercise. It destroys interest in the Bible. Heavenly things find little place in the thoughts. As the mind dwells upon the scenes of impurity portrayed, passion is aroused, and the end is sin.

    Answer by rhanford at 6:21 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • Even fiction which contains no suggestion of impurity, and which may be intended to teach excellent principles, is harmful. It encourages the habit of hasty and superficial reading merely for the story. Thus it tends to destroy the power of connected and vigorous thought; it unfits the soul to contemplate the great problems of duty and destiny. By fostering love for mere amusement, the reading of fiction creates a distaste for life's practical duties. Through its exciting, intoxicating power it is not infrequently a cause of both mental and physical disease. Many a miserable, neglected home, many a lifelong invalid, many an inmate of the insane asylum, has become such through the habit of novel reading.

    Answer by rhanford at 6:23 AM on Jul. 11, 2009

  • It is often urged that in order to win the youth from sensational or worthless literature, we should supply them with a better class of fiction. This is like trying to cure the drunkard by giving him, in the place of whisky or brandy, the milder intoxicants, such as wine, beer, or cider. The use of these would continually foster the appetite for stronger stimulants. The only safety for the inebriate, and the only safeguard for the temperate man, is total abstinence. For the lover of fiction the same rule holds true. Total abstinence is his only safety.

    Answer by rhanford at 6:23 AM on Jul. 11, 2009