Contradictory Testimonies on Pork

Mrs. White frequently warned against pork:

"Never should one morsel of swine's flesh be placed upon your table." Testimonies, Volume 2, p.3).

What few are aware of is a testimony written in the late 1850's in which Mrs. White rebukes the Curtis family in Iowa for not eating pork . (Note: This testimony was written prior to Mrs. White's visit to the Jackson's health institute in New York ).

" If God requires His people to abstain from swine's flesh, He will convict them on the matter. He is just as willing to show His honest children their duty, as to show their duty to individuals upon whom He has not laid the burden of His work. If it is the duty of the church to abstain from swine's flesh, God will discover it to more than two or three. He will teach His church their duty." (Testimonies, Volume 1, p.206).

Mrs. White also says of pork that it is nourishing and strengthening food:

"They who labor with their hands must nourish their strength to perform this labor, and those also who labor in the Word and doctrine must nourish their strength. They should eat of nourishing and strengthening food to build up their strength. I saw that your views concerning swine's flesh would prove no injury to you if you have them to yourself; but in your judgment and opinion you have made this question a test." (Testimonies, Volume 1, pp.206,207).


A Testimony of God's Spirit?

Brother and Sister Curtis studied their Bibles and came to the conclusion that eating pork was wrong. How did Mrs. White respond? Did she congratulate them for their good, scholarly Bible study? What message does God have for them? Is God pleased that this family is ahead of their time in realizing the dangers of eating pork? Apparently not!

Mrs. White soundly rebuked them ! If brother Curtis's health practices were in accordance with God's health plans, why would God's messenger rebuke him?

H.E. Carver, an early Adventist who was friends with the Curtis family, shares what happened to this family:

"Brother and Sister Curtis were among my most intimate friends for many years, and as we lived side by side a portion of the time, I knew some of the circumstances connected with the vision instruction given above. Sister Curtis was a very conscientious woman, and becoming satisfied, long before any movement was made in that direction by Elder and Mrs. White, that pork-eating was injurious, she tried to banish it from the table. This produced trouble. Sister Curtis was a sincere believer in Mrs. White's divine inspiration, and from the extract given above, it appears that she must have written to her for instructions, which she received as above; and that professedly through vision. Brother Curtis also stated that Elder White had endorsed on the back of the letter the following in substance: That you may know how we stand on this question, I would say that we have just put down a two hundred pound porker. " ( Mrs. E.G. White's Claims to Divine Inspiration Examined, 2nd edition, 1877).

Was God the source of Ellen White's testimonies? Or were others influencing her? Why the strong rebuke of this family? Could it be because James White had come out in favor of eating pork a few years earlier?

James White's article on pork

In 1850, James White wrote an article defending the eating of pork by Christians. Here is how he concludes the article:

"Some of our good brethren have added ' swine's flesh ' to the catalogue of things forbidden by the Holy Ghost, and the apostles and elders assembled at Jerusalem . But we feel called upon to protest against such a course, as being contrary to the plain teaching of the holy scriptures. Shall we lay a greater 'burden' on the disciples than seemed good to the Holy Ghost, and the holy apostles of our Lord Jesus Christ? God forbid. Their decision, being right, settled the question with them, and was a cause of rejoicing among the churches, and it should forever settle the question with us. " (The Present Truth, Vol. 1, November 1850, No. 11, "Swine's Flesh").

But in her book, Testimonies to the Church , concerning this matter Ellen White wrote:

"It is just as much sin to violate the laws of our being as to break one of the Ten Commandments." In other words, eating a slice of bacon is a sinful as committing adultery . And, "the use of swine's flesh is contrary to his (God's) express commandments". (Testimonies to the Church, Volume 2, pp.70,96; respectively).

In the Seventh-day Adventist "Amazing Facts" booklet on page 3, the question is asked, "but I like pork, will God destroy me if I eat it?" Answer: "This may be shocking, but it is true and must be told. The Bible positively states that all that eat "swine's flesh," the "mouse" and other unclean things will be destroyed with fire at the coming of the Lord."

Which Testimonies are right and which are wrong? Not only do they contradict each other but they are unbiblical.

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