We are not being honest if we attempt to make Ellen White’s endorsement an unconditional universal endorsement of everything that Jones and Waggoner ever put in print. What did Ellen White write to Jones about in 1894? These are her words, not mine: “I am fully in harmony with you in your work WHEN you present the Bible, and the Bible alone, as the foundation of our faith.” —Letter 103, 1894; (Vol. 2, Selected Messages, 85.)
Some will say that Ellen White endorsed Waggoner’s use of the term “unqualified love.” Yet she never used the term! She never used “unconditional love”! Meanwhile, these terms were being used by spiritualists, universalists, and pantheists who were contemporary to the time period of Ellen White’s ministry.
Advocates and proponents of unconditional love overlook that both in 1894 and 1901 she wrote of the fanaticism which she and James White confronted as early as 1844. They attempt a severe distinction between spiritual affinities and unconditional love, but spiritual affinities were a manifestation of free-lovism, which Ellen White called “unholy spiritual love”, a term that was used synonymously with unconditional love, and unqualified love. And because they don’t want to accept that, they continue to accuse others of rejecting a most precious message when we object to unconditional love as a part of the third angel’s message. This conclusion they draw is simply untrue!
What they do is make an idol of Jones and Waggoner. They are presenting them as infallible in their messages, when in fact they had departed from the faith, rejected Ellen White’s warnings until they had so far removed themselves from their own message in 1888 of righteousness by faith that they were teaching errors, “doctrines of Satanic origin.”
What is happening here? It is a case of history repeating itself. For the last nearly sixty years, no one of our church leaders could see anything objectionable about unconditional love. They had no clue that spiritualists have openly claimed that unconditional love originated in the spirit world. When Anna Phillips had her visions endorsed by A. T. Jones, he saw no objectionable material to prevent him from proclaiming from the pulpit that these visions were akin to those of Ellen White. But, when we read the reproof and correction sent to Elder Jones in 1894, this is what Ellen White wrote: